One of the Earliest Printed Maps of Mexico City Following Mexico's Independence
This is an old color example of the 1830 edition of Diego Garcia Conde's map of Mexico City, as substantially revised and reworked by Rafael Maria Calvo. The map was engraved in New York City by Peter Maverick.
Brigadier General Diego Garcia Conde's Plano general de la Ciudad de México is generally regarded as the most important plan of Mexico City in the nineteenth century. Garcia Conde initially undertook his survey during the period New Spain was governed by Juan Vicente de Güemes Pacheco de Padilla Horcasitas, the second Count of Revillagigedo, who is credited with the modernization and dramatic improvement of Mexico City (r. 1789-94).
Güemes ordered the beautification of walks, squares, and alleys, introduced rental carts, and organized the police service. These endeavors converted Mexico City into what would become known as the "City of Palaces." To improve communication and commercial traffic, Güemes ordered the design and construction of a network of modern roads, emphasizing the routes from Mexico City to Veracruz, and ordered engineering works to save ravines and rivers.
This is the third edition of Garcia Conde's monumental nine sheet map of Mexico City, first published in Mexico City circa 1807 and engraved by the renowned artist, José Joaquín Fabregat. The original map plates were destroyed and very few examples of the original survive. Garcia Conde (1760-1822) was born in Barcelona, but came to New Spain as a captain of the Spanish Dragoons. He fought the rebels in the War of Independence and later served as an engineer, overseeing such projects as the construction of the road between Veracruz and Jalapa. In 1822, he became Director General of the Corps of Engineers and founded the Academy for Cadets.
The map was re-engraved in a much smaller edition in 1811 in London (second edition). The present map is the third edition, created in 1830, following Mexico's independence, with revisions by Calvo. Rafael María Calvo was a retired officer of the Regiment of Infantry of the Spanish Royal Engineers.
This American edition appears somewhat rarer than the original multi-sheet edition engraved by Fabregat in 1807. The augmented and corrected pocket version was prepared by the New York engraver Peter Maverick (1780-1831), the son of the colonial-era engraver of the same name.