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Stock# 90454

Including One of the Earliest Geological Maps of the United States

Early 19th-century book which provides a comprehensive analysis of the United States, focusing on its economic landscape and potential for Franco-American trade.  Cartographically, it also includes the first state of one of the earliest geological maps of the United States and the first to extend to and beyond the Rocky Mountains.

Authored by French Consul General Beaujour, who served in the U.S. from 1804 to 1814, the work delves into various aspects of life in the burgeoning United States, including topography, transportation, political and governmental structures, major cities, military, religion, agriculture, industry, commerce, and international relations. Emphasizing economic elements, Beaujour discusses public works, trade balances, governmental finances, and more, reflecting his interest in promoting trade between France and the U.S.

The book includes detailed statistical tables categorizing the American population by occupation and assigning monetary values to different classes, such as agricultural slaves, free farmers, laborers, sailors, and fishermen. Despite his reservations about Jeffersonian democracy, Beaujour recognized the U.S.'s emerging role as a trade and commerce powerhouse.

Beaujour apparently thought the government of the U.S. was too weak.

His remarks on politics are shrewd. Agriculture was unproductive in the South, where the land was abused. He traces the inland waterway from New Jersey south, and points out how the Tennessee might be connected with the Tombigbee. He used the writings of Volney, Morse, Michaux, and others - Clark.

Early Geological Map of The U.S. 

The map included in Beaujour's book is one of the earliest geological maps of the United States.  The map shows geological formations in color outline, adopting a rather idiosyncratic system, rather than the full color system employed by Maclure and other later geological maps.

  • "Explication des Couleurs" means "Explanation of Colors".
  • "Limite de la formation Alluviale" means "Boundary of Alluvial formation".
  • "Limite de la formation Primitive" means "Boundary of Primitive formation".
  • "Limite de la formation de Transition" means "Boundary of Transition formation".
  • "Limite de la formation Secondaire" means "Boundary of Secondary formation".

Each line item indicates different geological layers or strata, such as alluvial deposits, primary (ancient or original) geological formations, transitional formations, and secondary formations which might have occurred due to various geological processes.  

Marcou comments that the Beaujour's map contains some geological additions for Texas and Canada, and a few other alterations, but otherwise is based entirely on Maclure's earlier map of 1809. Unlike the earlier maps of Marcou and Maclure, Beajour's map extends beyond the Rocky Mountains, covering all of Louisiana Territory. Watershed boundaries are carefully delineated by continuous topographic highlands.

This early map locates only two settlements west of the Mississippi: Santa Fe and Fort Mandan, site of the Lewis and Clark quarters during the winter of 1805-06.

The map originally appeared in Beaujour's Apercu des Etats-Unis, au Commencement du XIX, Siecle, depuis 1800 Jusqu' en 1810, published in Paris. Beaujour served as French consul general to the US from 1804 to 1814 and had an intimate understanding of US politics, transportation, and commerce. 

The map would later be re-issued with an English title added in London, to illustrate a book entitled Sketch of the United States of North America, which was written primarily to encourage trade between the US and France, and included a summary of agriculture and geology supplemented by this map.

Condition Description
Octavo. Contemporary marbled calf, gilt spine, red leather label. Marbled endpapers. Toe of spine a bit worn. 272, [2] pages, and 17 letterpress folding tables (bound out of order, but all present). Engraved folding map. Complete. Small neat private bookplate on front pastedown. A very nice clean example with the map particularly crisp.
Marcou #925 (26a) Second Supplement. Phillips (Maps) p. 878. Sabin 4172. Howes B-288. Clark, Old South III:78. Monaghan 157.