Southeastern United States and the Caribbean on the Eve of the Adams Onis Treaty
Striking large format map of Florida and the Southeast, Gulf Coast, the West Indies and part of Central America and the northern part of South America.
The shallower waters of the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean are elegantly shaded, giving emphasis to these regions. The many islands of the Bahamas and the small islands south of Cuba are of particular note, as is the still largely under-explored parts of South Florida.
The region is shown in the decade following the Louisiana Purchase and on the Eve of the Adams Onis Treaty.
In 1810, the American settlers in West Florida rebelled, declaring independence from Spain. President James Madison and Congress used the incident to claim the region, knowing full well that the Spanish government was seriously weakened by Napoleon’s invasion of Spain. The United States asserted that the portion of West Florida from the Mississippi to the Perdido rivers was part of the Louisiana Purchase of 1803.
Negotiations over Florida began in earnest with the mission of Don Luis de Onís to Washington in 1815 to meet Secretary of State James Monroe. The issue was not resolved until Monroe was president and John Quincy Adams his Secretary of State. Although U.S. Spanish relations were strained over suspicions of American support for the independence struggles of Spanish-American colonies, the situation became critical when General Andrew Jackson seized the Spanish forts at Pensacola and St. Marks in his 1818 authorized raid against Seminoles and escaped slaves who were viewed as a threat to Georgia.
John Thomson (1777-ca. 1840) was a commercial map publisher active in Edinburgh. He specialized in guide books and atlases and is primarily known for his Atlas of Scotland (1832) and the New General Atlas, first published in 1817 and reissued for the next quarter century. The New General Atlas was a commercial success—it was also published in Dublin and London—and it compiled existing geographic knowledge in compelling ways for a wide audience.
His Atlas of Scotland introduced new geographic information and was the first large-scale atlas of Scotland to be organized by county. It provided the most-accurate view of Scotland available before the Clearances. Work on the atlas began in 1820 and led to Thomson’s bankruptcy in 1830 due to the high costs of gathering the latest surveys and reviewing the required materials. Despite the publication of the atlas, Thomson declared bankruptcy again in 1835.