“United States of AMERICA” Philadelphia: John Melish, c. 1819. Engraved map with original hand-coloring and folds as issued. (Paper: 440 x 560mm – 17 ½ x 16’’ Image: 405 x 488mm – 16 x 19 ¼’’)
An important and informative map of the United States during a period of rapid change: Florida is part of the United States - following the Adams-Onis Treaty (1819) by which the U.S. agreed to forego its claim to Texas and settle for a boundary along the Sabine, Red, and Arkansas Rivers to the 42nd parallel.
Americans who had already settled in Texas claimed that the accurate boundary of Louisiana (purchased from France in 1803) extended west to the Rio Grande.
The division of the lands in the Adams-Onis Treaty “was facilitated by the use of a popular and widely disseminated map by John Melish…Melish’s maps significantly improved the descriptions and depictions of the Texas interior, but perhaps its most lasting value to history was its official association with the Adams-Onis Treaty… (and) the widespread dissemination of new information concerning Texas geography…” (Martin & Martin: Maps of Texas and the Southwest, p. 115).
Also of note is the delineation of the western territories of Arkansas, “North West Territory”, Michigan Territory and the rest of the Louisiana Purchase region noted as “Missouri Territory”. All these would change within the next few years.