By: Wilfred Henry Stedman
Date of Original: 1951 (dated) Eu Claire, WI
Original Size: 21.5 x 16.2 inches (54.6 x 41.1 cm)
This is a fine print reproduction of a pictorial map of New Mexico by Wilfred Henry Stedman that was published for free distribution by the State Tourist Bureau. The map covers New Mexico from Shiprock to El Paso, and notes the only point in the United States common to four states, where the boundaries of Utah, New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado meet.
The entire map is brightly illustrated with detailed renderings of carriages, cowboys, soldiers, explorers, forts, wildlife, etc. Stedman’s map is a lesson in the history of the Europeanisation and Americanization of the state from the earliest inroads made by various Spanish Conquistadors, to the advent of covered wagon trains bringing American settlers from states farther to the east. Historic routes and trails are identified, including the Butterfield Trail, the Santa Fe Trail, Goodnight Loving Trail to name a few, and the exploratory routes taken by Cabeza de Vaca, Coronado, Onate and others.
Earlier inhabitants of the state are represented by pictorial representations of the ruins of their ancient cities, in the forms of pueblos, cliff dwellings and a large number of other impressive architectural edifices built by indigenous peoples long before the first European attempts to claim the territory. Stedman also rendered a number of indigenous individuals such as a woman creating pottery, perhaps Maria Sanchez the enormously talented pueblo potter, and a male figure performing a traditional dance.
The lower left quadrant features a group of mounted Spaniards quite likely representing the survivors of an ill-fated expedition which had started in Florida in 1527. Of the three hundred who had set out, only Cabeza de Vaca, who had been second in command, a Spanish Moor named Estevanico, and two other Spaniards survived. The verso contains some fairly detailed information about the various trails in the region, their origins and subsequent use, and the Coronado Cuarto Centennial Celebrations.
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What can be referred to as modern cartography has been around for over 550 years. Throughout that time an enormous amount of new land was discovered, cities were founded while others perished. International trade and travel became the norm, political borders were ever-changing, and numerous wars were waged. With all that being said, hundreds of thousands of maps were created that show such events and episodes in time.
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