A New Chart of the World on Mercator’s Projection with the Tracks of the Most Celebrated & Recent Navigators
A beautiful and intriguing world map with its original colour, bound in its original leather binder, that delineates the shortly lived “Republic of Texas” and incorporates the claim of a complete Northwest passage. Teesdale originally published his world map in 1836 with updated editions in 1841, 1842, 1844 and 1845. Of particular interest to the latter versions of this maps are the references to the major geo-political changes occurring in the international sphere as well as to the new discoveries altering the cartographic landscape.
For example, Teesdale’s notation “Texas was acknowledged an Independent State by England, Nov.r 1840” makes reference to the Republic of Texas that had declared its independence from Mexico following the Treaties of Velasco in 1836 and was later recognized by Britain in 1840. However, the existence of the newly independent republic would prove to be short lived as it would be annexed by the United States on December 29, 1845, the same year after the publication of this particular state of the map. The annexation by the United States of the fledging Republic of Texas came as a result of boundary disputes with Mexico. As such, the annexation would lead to the Mexican-American War that lasted from 1846 to 1848.
Teesdale’s map is of further interest as it incorporates the new boundaries between the United States and the British North American Colonies following the Webster-Ashburton Treaty of 1842. This treaty put an end to the border conflict between Maine and New Brunswick in what is known as the Aroostook War. Furthermore, the Treaty reaffirmed the location of the border at the 49th parallel between Canada and the United States as originally set forth in the Treaty of 1818.
That being said, it is also worthy to note that Teesdale’s map is appealing because of the depiction of the different routes taken by notable explorers to the Northern and Southern hemispheres. Of particular interest, is the fact that beginning in 1841, Teesdale was one of the first cartographers to incorporate the complete northwest passage by drawing the exploration of Peter Dease and Alexander Simpson that occurred between 1836 and 1839. To wit Teasdale has included the notation that states “This Coast was Explored by mess.rs Dease and Simpson under the Hon. able Hudson’s Bay Company, which completes the North West Passage Oct.r 1839.” However, although Dease and Simpson did explore the area that allowed cartographers to get a better handle of the Northern coastline of North America, a true navigable northwest passage still remained elusive as was the notion of whether Boothia was a peninsula or an island. As such, these two cartographic puzzles were only resolved following the exploits of John Raye in 1846 and 1854 respectively.