1854 Handtke & Flemming Large Antique Map of The United States of America - 32 States

Cartographer :Friedrich Handtke

This beautifully hand coloured original steel-plate engraved antique map of the United States in the mid 19th century, by Friedrich Handtke in 1854, was published in the Complete hand atlas of the recent description of the earth over all parts of the earth, Carl Flemming, Glougau.
At the bottom left of the map is an index of all states and territories. 32 States are listed with California the last, accepted into the union in 1850 and 5 territories are listed, Oregon, Missouri, Minnesota, Indian & Utah.

General Definitions:
Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stable
Paper color : - off white
Age of map color: - Original
Colors used: - Yellow, green, blue, pink
General color appearance: - Authentic
Paper size: - 17in x 14in (430mm x 355mm)
Plate size: - 17in x 14in (430mm x 355mm)
Margins: - Min 1/2in (12mm)

Margins: - Light age toning
Plate area: - Light age toning
Verso: - Light age toning

After the conclusion of the Civil War three things happened that opened up the western states, migration, gold and the building of the railway from the Atlantic to the Pacific. This map shows a country prior to the civil war still defining itself with much of the country west of the Mississippi regions yet to be opened and defined.
Mexico became independent of Spain in 1821, and took over Spains northern possessions stretching from Texas to California. Caravans began delivering goods to Mexicos Santa Fe along the Santa Fe Trail, over the 870-mile journey which took 48 days from Kansas City, Missouri (then known as Westport). Santa Fe was also the trailhead for the El Camino Real (the Kings Highway), a trade route which carried American manufactured goods southward deep into Mexico and returned silver, furs, and mules northward (not to be confused with another Camino Real which connected the missions in California). A branch also ran eastward near the Gulf (also called the Old San Antonio Road). Santa Fe connected to California via the Old Spanish Trail.
The Spanish and Mexican governments attracted American settlers to Texas with generous terms. Stephen F. Austin became an empresario, receiving contracts from the Mexican officials to bring in immigrants. In doing so, he also became the de facto political and military commander of the area. Tensions rose, however, after an abortive attempt to establish the independent nation of Fredonia in 1826. William Travis, leading the war party, advocated for independence from Mexico, while the peace party led by Austin attempted to get more autonomy within the current relationship. When Mexican president Santa Anna shifted alliances and joined the conservative Centralist party, he declared himself dictator and ordered soldiers into Texas to curtail new immigration and unrest. However, immigration continued and 30,000 Anglos with 3,000 slaves were settled in Texas by 1835. In 1836, the Texas Revolution erupted. Following losses at the Alamo and Goliad, the Texians won the decisive Battle of San Jacinto to secure independence. At San Jacinto, Sam Houston, commander-in-chief of the Texian Army and future President of the Republic of Texas famously shouted Remember the Alamo! Remember Goliad. The U.S. Congress declined to annex Texas, stalemated by contentious arguments over slavery and regional power. Thus, the Republic of Texas remained an independent power for nearly a decade before it was annexed as the 28th state in 1845. The government of Mexico, however, viewed Texas as a runaway province and asserted its ownership.
Mexico refused to recognize the independence of Texas in 1836, but the U.S. and European powers did so. Mexico threatened war if Texas joined the U.S., which it did in 1845. American negotiators were turned away by a Mexican government in turmoil. When the Mexican army killed 16 American soldiers in disputed territory war was at hand. Whigs, such as Congressman Abraham Lincoln denounced the war, but it was quite popular outside New England.
The Mexican strategy was defensive; the American strategy was a three pronged offensive, using large numbers of volunteer soldiers. Overland forces seized New Mexico with little resistance and headed to California, which quickly fell to the American land and naval forces. From the main American base at New Orleans, General Zachary Taylor led forces into northern Mexico, winning a series of battles that ensued. The U.S. Navy transported General Winfield Scott to Veracruz. He then marched his 12,000-man force west to Mexico City, winning the final battle at Chapultepec. Talk of acquiring all of Mexico fell away when the army discovered the Mexican political and cultural values were so alien to Americas. As the Cincinnati Herald asked, what would the U.S. do with eight million Mexicans with their idol worship, heathen superstition, and degraded mongrel races?
The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo of 1848 ceded the territories of California and New Mexico to the United States for $18.5 million (which included the assumption of claims against Mexico by settlers). The Gadsden Purchase in 1853 added southern Arizona, which was needed for a railroad route to California. In all Mexico ceded half a million square miles (1.3 million km2) and included the states-to-be of California, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and parts of Colorado and Wyoming, in addition to Texas. Managing the new territories and dealing with the slavery issue caused intense controversy, particularly over the Wilmot Proviso, which would have outlawed slavery in the new territories. Congress never passed it, but rather temporarily resolved the issue of slavery in the West with the Compromise of 1850. California entered the Union in 1850 as a free state; the other areas remained territories for many years.
The new state grew rapidly as migrants poured into the fertile cotton lands of east Texas. German immigrants started to arrive in the early 1840s because of negative economic, social and political pressures in Germany. With their investments in cotton lands and slaves, planters established cotton plantations in the eastern districts. The central area of the state was developed more by subsistence farmers who seldom owned slaves.
Texas in its Wild West days attracted men who could shoot straight and possessed the zest for adventure, for masculine renown, patriotic service, martial glory and meaningful deaths.
In 1846 about 10,000 Californios (Hispanics) lived in California, primarily on cattle ranches in what is now the Los Angeles area. A few hundred foreigners were scattered in the northern districts, including some Americans. With the outbreak of war with Mexico in 1846 the U.S. sent in Frémont and a U.S. Army unit, as well as naval forces, and quickly took control. As the war was ending, gold was discovered in the north, and the word soon spread worldwide.
Thousands of Forty-Niners reached California, by sailing around South America (or taking a short-cut through disease-ridden Panama), or walked the California trail. The population soared to over 200,000 in 1852, mostly in the gold districts that stretched into the mountains east of San Francisco.
Housing in San Francisco was at a premium, and abandoned ships whose crews had headed for the mines were often converted to temporary lodging. In the gold fields themselves living conditions were primitive, though the mild climate proved attractive. Supplies were expensive and food poor, typical diets consisting mostly of pork, beans, and whiskey. These highly male, transient communities with no established institutions were prone to high levels of violence, drunkenness, profanity, and greed-driven behavior. Without courts or law officers in the mining communities to enforce claims and justice, miners developed their own ad hoc legal system, based on the mining codes used in other mining communities abroad. Each camp had its own rules and often handed out justice by popular vote, sometimes acting fairly and at times exercising vigilantism—with Indians, Mexicans, and Chinese generally receiving the harshest sentences.
The gold rush radically changed the California economy and brought in an array of professionals, including precious metal specialists, merchants, doctors, and attorneys, who added to the population of miners, saloon keepers, gamblers, and prostitutes. A San Francisco newspaper stated, The whole country... resounds to the sordid cry of gold! Gold! Gold! while the field is left half planted, the house half built, and everything neglected but the manufacture of shovels and pick axes. Over 250,000 miners found a total of more than $200 million in gold in the five years of the California Gold Rush. As thousands arrived, however, fewer and fewer miners struck their fortune, and most ended exhausted and broke.
Violent bandits often preyed upon the miners, such as the case of Jonathan R. Davis killing of eleven bandits single-handedly. Camps spread out north and south of the American River and eastward into the Sierras. In a few years, nearly all of the independent miners were displaced as mines were purchased and run by mining companies, who then hired low-paid salaried miners. As gold became harder to find and more difficult to extract, individual prospectors gave way to paid work gangs, specialized skills, and mining machinery. Bigger mines, however, caused greater environmental damage. In the mountains, shaft mining predominated, producing large amounts of waste. Beginning in 1852, at the end of the 49 gold rush, through 1883, hydraulic mining was used. Despite huge profits being made, it fell into the hands of a few capitalists, displaced numerous miners, vast amounts of waste entered river systems, and did heavy ecological damage to the environment. Hydraulic mining ended when public outcry over the destruction of farmlands led to the outlawing of this practice.
The mountainous areas of the triangle from New Mexico to California to South Dakota contained hundreds of hard rock mining sites, where prospectors discovered gold, silver, copper and other minerals (as well as some soft-rock coal). Temporary mining camps sprang up overnight; most became ghost towns when the ores were depleted. Prospectors spread out and hunted for gold and silver along the Rockies and in the southwest. Soon gold was discovered in Colorado, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Idaho, Montana, and South Dakota (by 1864).
The discovery of the Comstock Lode, containing vast amounts of silver, resulted in the Nevada boomtowns of Virginia City, Carson City, and Silver City. The wealth from silver, more than from gold, fueled the maturation of San Francisco in the 1860s and helped the rise of some of its wealthiest families, such as that of George Hearst.
To get to the rich new lands of the West Coast, there were two options: some sailed around the southern tip of South America during a six-month voyage, but 400,000 others walked there on an overland route of more than 2,000 miles (3,000 km); their wagon trains usually left from Missouri. They moved in large groups under an experienced wagonmaster, bringing their clothing, farm supplies, weapons, and animals. These wagon trains followed major rivers, crossed prairies and mountains, and typically ended in Oregon and California. Pioneers generally attempted to complete the journey during a single warm season, usually over the course of six months. By 1836, when the first migrant wagon train was organized in Independence, Missouri, a wagon trail had been cleared to Fort Hall, Idaho. Trails were cleared further and further west, eventually reaching all the way to the Willamette Valley in Oregon. This network of wagon trails leading to the Pacific Northwest was later called the Oregon Trail. The eastern half of the route was also used by travelers on the California Trail (from 1843), Mormon Trail (from 1847), and Bozeman Trail (from 1863) before they turned off to their separate destinations.
In the Wagon Train of 1843, some 700 to 1,000 emigrants headed for Oregon; missionary Marcus Whitman led the wagons on the last leg. In 1846, the Barlow Road was completed around Mount Hood, providing a rough but passable wagon trail from the Missouri River to the Willamette Valley: about 2,000 miles. Though the main direction of travel on the early wagon trails was westward, people also used the Oregon Trail to travel eastward. Some did so because they were discouraged and defeated. Some returned with bags of gold and silver. Most were returning to pick up their families and move them all back west. These gobacks were a major source of information and excitement about the wonders and promises—and dangers and disappointments—of the far West.
Not all emigrants made it to their destination. The dangers of the overland route were numerous: snakebites, wagon accidents, violence from other travelers, suicide, malnutrition, stampedes, Indian attacks, a variety of diseases (dysentery, typhoid, and cholera were among the most common), exposure, avalanches, etc. One particularly well-known example of the treacherous nature of the journey is the story of the ill-fated Donner Party, which became trapped in the Sierra Nevada mountains during the winter of 1846–1847 in which nearly half of the 90 people traveling with the group died from starvation and exposure, and some resorted to cannibalism to survive. Another story of cannibalism featured Alfred Packer and his trek to Colorado in 1874. There were also frequent attacks from bandits and highwaymen, such as the infamous Harpe brothers who patrolled the frontier routes and targeted migrant groups.
In Missouri and Illinois, animosity between the Mormon settlers and locals grew, which would mirror those in other states such as Utah years later. Violence finally erupted on October 24, 1838 when militias from both sides clashed and a mass killing of Mormons in Livingston County occurred 6 days later. An executive order was filed during these conflicts, and the Mormons were forced to scatter. Brigham Young, seeking to leave American jurisdiction to escape religious persecution in Illinois and Missouri, led the Mormons to the valley of the Great Salt Lake, owned at the time by Mexico but not controlled by them. A hundred rural Mormon settlements sprang up in what Young called Deseret, which he ruled as a theocracy. It later became Utah Territory. Youngs Salt Lake City settlement served as the hub of their network, which reached into neighboring territories as well. The communalism and advanced farming practices of the Mormons enabled them to succeed. They sold goods to wagon trains passing through and came to terms with local Indian tribes because Young decided it was cheaper to feed the Indians than fight them. Education became a high priority to protect the beleaguered group, reduce heresy and maintain group solidarity.
The great threat to the Mormons in Utah was the U.S. government, which took ownership of Utah in 1848, and pushed by the Protestant churches, rejected theocracy and polygamy. The Republican Party swore to destroy polygamy, which it saw as an affront to religious, cultural and moral values of a modern civilization. Confrontations verged on open warfare in the late 1850s as President Buchanan sent in troops. Although there were no military battles fought, and negotiations led to a stand down, violence still escalated and there were a number of casualties. After the Civil War the federal government systematically took control of Utah away from the Mormons, and drove the churchs leadership underground. Meanwhile, aggressive missionary work in the U.S. and Europe brought a flood of Mormon converts to Utah. Finally in 1890 the Church leadership announced polygamy was no longer a central tenet, and a compromise was reached, with Utah becoming a state and the Mormons dividing into Republicans and Democrats.
Constitutionally, Congress could not deal with slavery in the states but it did have jurisdiction in the western territories. California unanimously rejected slavery in 1850 and became a free state. New Mexico allowed slavery, but it was rarely seen there. Kansas was off limits to slavery by the Compromise of 1820. Free Soil elements feared that if slavery were allowed rich planters would buy up the best lands and work them with gangs of slaves, leaving little opportunity for free white men to own farms. Few Southern planters were actually interested in Kansas, but the idea that slavery was illegal there implied they had a second-class status that was intolerable to their sense of honor, and seemed to violate the principle of states rights. With the passage of the extremely controversial Kansas–Nebraska Act in 1854, Congress left the decision up to the voters on the ground in Kansas. Across the North a new major party was formed to fight slavery: the Republican Party, with numerous westerners in leadership positions, most notably Abraham Lincoln of Illinois. To influence the territorial decision, anti-slavery elements (also called Jayhawkers or Free-soilers) financed the migration of politically determined settlers. But pro-slavery advocates fought back with pro-slavery settlers from Missouri. Violence on both sides was the result; in all 56 men were killed by the time the violence abated in 1859. By 1860 the pro-slavery forces were in control—but Kansas had only two slaves. The antislavery forces took over by 1861, as Kansas became a free state. The episode demonstrated that a democratic compromise between North and South over slavery was impossible and served to hasten the Civil War.

Handtke, Friedrich 1815 - 1879
Handtke was a 19th century German cartographer who trained as a surveyor. After serving a year in the Prussian army, in 1838 he began work as head of the cartographic department at the publishing bookstore Carl Flemming in Glogau, Silesia. Of the 260 maps published by Flemming over 165 were drawn by Handtke.
Handtkes most important work was the Hand Atlas of the Prussian State of 1846 with 36 maps. He also published important maps of the Prussian state & a Map of Neuchâtel and Valendis & the nine provinces; East Prussia , West Prussia , Pomerania , Poznan , Silesia , Brandenburg , Saxony , Westphalia and the Rhine Province and the 25 administrative districts. One of Handtkes students was the German cartographer Paul Thumann .
Atlases published:
- Complete hand atlas of the recent description of the earth over all parts of the earth , Flemming, Glogau 1849.
- Hand Atlas of the Prussian State Flemming, Glogau 1846
- Royal Prussian Card. Province of Saxony, the duchy of Anhalt, the ducal. Saxon countries Weimar, Altenburg u. Gotha and the principals Schwarzburg and Reuss , Flemming, Glogau 1870/71