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Heckrotte's Rare Proof State  -- The Most Cartographically Advanced Mining Map of Northern Mexico & The Borderlands of the United States of the Period

Remarkably detailed regional map of Northwestern Mexico and the borderlands in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California, offered here in the rare Heckrotte proof state lacking imprint, publisher, and credit to Colonel Fleury, the French Artillery officer who seems to have contributed to the cartographic content of the map and whose name appears on the covers.

The Gensoul map builds significantly on the 1858 Ehrenberg map of the same region, showing vastly more detail and accuracy in the region. Attractively executed, it provides an excellent image of Northwestern Mexico, Baja California and the borderlands of the United States, with indication of the vast mineral resources. The map includes itineraries and symbol references in both Spanish and English.

The map's primary feature is its fine treatment of the Sonora, Chihuahua and Sinaloa, regions that had to date not been mapped in such great detail, with special emphasis on the location of the mining regions. The covers of the map and all later states credit Colonel Eugene L Carron de Fleury as the primary source of the map.  Fleury's work seems to have been highly influential, including his Noticias Geologicas, Geograficas y Estadisticas Sobre Sonora y Baja California, published in 1864.

The detail along the borderlands between Paso Del Norte (now Ciudad Juarez, across from El Paso, Texas), and San Diego, California, is of great value, giving the location of the newly delineated "Frontera Nueva Segun Decreto De 4 De Julio De 1854 Despues de la Venta ou Hiso El Presidente Santa Anna De Mesilla y Arisona" (the Gadsden Purchase, in English), as well as the presumed direction of the railroad line to be run from the El Paso area to Tucson, Colorado City (Yuma) and then into California.

The map also provides a meticulous accounting of the wagon roads and small settlements and ranches in the area, along with topographical details.

The map is also of great interest for the detail in Baja California, being quite possibly the most advanced treatment of Baja California on a printed map to date.

Warren Heckrotte comments on the map's somewhat mysterious presence:

The map presents a puzzle. It appears to be from the same plate as the original 1864 issue. But the English title, the attributions to Fleury, to the publisher Gensoul, and to the lithographer Britton & Co. are not present. The copyright imprint appears to have been erased after printing. Quite possibly it is a proof copy. I have another copy, complete, Spanish and English titles. Fleury was a Coronel and Gefe [chief] engineer in Sonora and apparently a member of the French contingent then holding power in Mexico. The map was revised in 1881 and issued in Hamilton, Leonidas. Border States of Mexico: Sonora, Sinaloa, Chihuahua, and Durango, Second Edition, San Francisco, 1881. The revised issue may also have been issued separately.

This map is a rare and bibliographically complex map, as there are several early editions with noticeable differences, including an example printed in a Sepia color, a later 1881 edition of the map (so dated), an example with only an English title and the original copyright information cancelled, and at least one other variant setting of the title, with a different placement. We note the following editions:

  • 1864 Heckrotte-Proof Copy: No copyright or Britton & Co. Lith imprint. No credit to Fleury or Gensoul. Second titles in French & English not present. Outline color borders.
  • 1864 Second edition, with Britton & Co. copyright, credits to Fleury & Gensoul, and second titles in English and French.
  • 1864 Sepia print edition.
  • 1881 Edition: Similar to present edition, but title box extends lower, French title moved to the right of the main title and the name George Holbrook Baker appears as lithographer and the imprint of Warren Holt.


The map is very rare on the market. We note only the Heckrotte copy for sale in the past 50 years.

Provenance: Warren Heckrotte Collection  

Condition Description
12mo, early brown cloth covers with modern printed cover label, folding map measures
Orozco y Berra, no 993.Phillips Maps, pp 791,792, revised by Warren Holt, 1881. Catalogue of Maps of Hispanic America, Vol 1, p 90 (LC copy, 1881 ed). Barrett 854 which states that there is another issue dated 1881 with the author designated as G. de Fleury.