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Great Republic

1844 Phelps and Ensign's Travellers' Guide and Map of the United States with Original Hardware

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This is Phelps and Ensign's 1844 Travellers Guide Map of the United States, containing the Roads, Distances, Steam Boat and Canal Routes.Published in New York by T. & E. H. Ensign, 1844, this wall map is hand-colored and mounted on linen, presented with its original hanging hardware. The map is a steel engraving, engraved by the Brooklyn-based J. Wells.

This is a fascinating wall map of the United States issued in 1844 – one year prior to Texas statehood. The publisher, T. & E. H. Ensign, was involved for many years in the nineteenth century in issuing maps like these, usually in conjunction with others, including Phelps, Thayer, Bridgman and Fanning. This important map shows the United States from the East Coast to the Rocky Mountains, including the "strawberry" shaped Republic of Texas.

The map is surrounded by insets. To the left are "The chief rivers of the world"; "The world in hemispheres"; "Principal Mountains” and "The Declaration of Independence". Below, there are ten engraved vignette portraits of the Presidents, from George Washington up to John Tyler, and a key to the large illustration below of the "Signing of the Declaration of Independence." The side panels are decorated with oval portraits of Indian chief King Philip 1676 (on left) and George Washington (on right). Four other views are of the "Landing of the Pilgrims", "Battle of Lexington" and "Battle of Bunker Hill", and "Washington's Farewell to his Army".

This wall map is from a series of Travellers Guides that were issued by Phelps and Ensign from about 1838 until 1841, in both wall map and folding map form. These maps were regularly updated and this version, which the Ensign’s issued by themselves, is no exception. The map shows the United States as far west as what was then Mexico Territory along the Rio Grande; Santa Fe, for instance, is shown at the western edge. It is the trans-Mississippi regions that are of particular interest here. In the northwest, two large territories are indicated- Missouri and Iowa. 

Texas is depicted clearly marked as part of the United States by a red border (the border is updated from the previous 1841 edition). This is one of the earliest depictions of Texas – published just one year before the Republic became a state in 1845. Other updated information in Texas includes the addition of Austin, Colorado City, La Grange, Victoria, Nashville, and Franklin.

Historically and decoratively, this is an excellent cartographic document of the United States.


The map is in stable condition. The hand coloring, original to the map, is faded in some areas. Map is mounted on linen and presented with its original hanging hardware. Framed dimensions: 42 ⅜” H x 53 ¼” W x 3 ½” D.