By guest blogger Diana Rivera
Chicana/o Latina/o Studies Subject Specialist, Michigan State University Libraries
The area known as New Mexico was previously part of the Spanish crown and then Mexico where over 140 land grants were issued between 1692 and 1846 (Williams, 104). These grants provided individuals, towns and groups land and water rights for private and communal use primarily along the Rio Grande river basin. After the Mexican-American War of 1846-1848, Mexico ceded almost half of its land for $15,000,000 in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The treaty included terms under Article X guaranteeing the protection of property and civil rights of Mexican nationals within the new boundaries of the US. The legal systems and rights in Spanish and Mexican jurisprudence, however, did not translate or transfer well into the Anglo-based courts system. U.S. courts interpreted the Mexican grants as part of Mexico ceded to the US and not as private holdings.
This 1903 map was published 6 years before New Mexico became a state. It shows many of those grants that would be, and have been, contested by heirs and descendants of the original private and communal grantees. Among the largest land grants are the Armendaris (south central), Mora and Maxwell (north eastern) grants and the most notorious is the Tierra Amarilla grant (north central ). Tierra Amarilla was a Mexican government grant for Manuel Martinez and the settlers around Abiquiu that was under attack by original populations such as the Apaches and Navajos. These attacks led to a dwindling population. Reies Lopez Tijerina, a Spanish-Indigenous activist during the Chicano Movement of the 1960s, led a land grant alliance (Alianza Federal de Mercedes) in the raid of the local courthouse. The action was focused on calling attention to corrupt practices and systems that left land grant owners and heirs without land and hopefully recoup some of those lands. He was unsuccessful and jailed for the attack.
This map will be on exhibit in the MSU Map Library beginning the week of March 24, 2014. Click here to see the full map
Detail from map
Territory of New Mexico. From U.S. House. 58th Congress, 2nd Session. H.doc.5/30 (Serial Set 4649) report titled, Annual Reports of the Department of the Interior for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1903. Published in Washington, DC by the Government Printing Office in 1903.
For additional information:
Tijerina, Reies, and Elsa K. Thompson. Reies Tijerina: Leader of the Alianza. North Hollywood, CA: Pacifica Radio Archives, 2000. Sound recording.
Tijerina, Reies, and José A. Gutiérrez. They Called Me "king Tiger": My Struggle for the Land and Our Rights. Houston, Tex: Arte Publico Press, 2000. Print.
Williams, Jerry L. New Mexico in Maps. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1986.
Adorable kittens and country landscapes came later - the first puzzles emerged in the mid-18th century in the form of dissected maps created as educational tools for children. The oldest puzzles were made of wood. Cardboard maps were eventually developed as less expensive alternatives, but wooden puzzles are still available today especially as teaching tools.
These two maps are of the United States were sold by Parker Brothers and Milton Bradley in the early 20th Century.
These puzzles will be on display in the MSU Map Library beginning the week of March 10, 2014. They were both gifts of Ronald Dietz.
Further reading: Cutting borders: Dissected maps and the origins of the jigsaw puzzle. An article written by Martin Norgate and published in 2007 in Cartographic Journal, volume 44 number 4 on pages 342-350.
This map is an interesting early attempt to embed complex statistical information into map form. It shows us the countries of origin of new immigrants to each state and the occupations of the adult male immigrants (women and children were categorized as “no occupation”). Michigan saw the influx of 20,920 immigrants that year with the largest groups coming from Finland, Scandinavian countries, and Poland.
The report’s author, Sargent, was no friend to immigration and in his report expressed dismay at the quantity of immigrants, their relative poverty, and their ethnic make-up which had swung in recent years to eastern and southern European groups.
This map will be on display in the MSU Map Library beginning the week of February 10, 2014.
Race and Occupation of immigrants by destination. Also the yearly increase and decrease of each state’s proportion and the number. Made in 1903 to accompany the Annual Report of the Commission-General of Immigration for the Fiscal Year ended June 30, 1903 by Frank P. Sargent, Commissioner-General of Immigration and published in Washington in 1903 by the Government Printing Office.
Long before the concept of ‘invasive species’ was established, naturalists such as Jacques Milbert combed the exotic American landscape for novel plants to share with the Old Country. Milbert's skill as a landscape artist is apparent in his 2-volume travel journal and ‘atlas’ of sketches which was published after his return. This journal is much cherished in the United States for providing early views of the country and descriptions of lifestyle and customs.
The map on display was the only one to appear in this work. The geography is nearly a spot-on copy of that in John Melish’s 1813 ‘Map of the Seat of War in North America.’ Even the scroll is identical, except that Melish filled his with a population list rather than the title information.
The map highlights the water routes from New York City to Michigan Territory - including an inset of the Hudson River, the Erie Canal, the St. Lawrence Seaway, and both the Grand River and Lake Simcoe canoe shortcuts through Ontario. Milbert noted on the map the places he traveled, which were all well East of Michigan Territory.
This map will be on exhibit in the MSU Map Library beginning the week of December 30, 2013. It was a generous gift of Ron Dietz.
“Boston from the State House Belvedere a Century Ago.” An article written by Constance D. Sherman and published in December 1959 in the journal The New England Quarterly, volume 32 number 4, on pages 521-530.
“Jacques Gerard Milbert.” An entry in the book Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, volume 4, published 1887 through 1889 in New York by D. Appleton and Company.
This map is clearly copied directly from a larger map made in 1698 by Father Louis Hennepin. Le Beau could have chosen any number of newer and more accurate maps to illustrate his story, but he or his publisher chose this 40-year old map.
LeBeau was a bored clerk working in an office in New France. He was no mapmaker and no explorer, but rather an exile banished from France for being a “libertine.” LeBeau escaped his fate and hitched a ride back to Amsterdam where he drew on his 18-month experience and wrote of his so-called adventures.
The map is dedicated to the even more controversial Ernst Johann von Biron, Count of Courland and long-time power behind the Russian throne.
The Le Beau map is displayed in the Map Library starting the week of September 30, 2013, alongside a reproduction of the 1698 Hennepin map.
Amerique septentrionalis: carte d'un tres grand pays entre le Nouveau Mexique et la Mer Glaciale. Made by Louis Hennepin, Abraham van Someren and Jan Van Vianen. Appeared in the book, Nouvelle Découverte d'un Trés Grand Pays Situé Dans l'Amérique, Entre le Nouveau Mexique, et la Mer Glaciale. Published in Amsterdam by A. v. Someren in 1698. Reproduced in The Mapping of the Great Lakes in the Seventeenth Century: Twenty-Two Maps from the George S. & Nancy B. Parker Collection. Published in Providence, Rhode Island by the John Carter Brown Library in 1989.
"Biron, Ernst Johann." Written by John T. Alexander. In Encyclopedia of Russian History. Ed. James R. Millar. Vol. 1. Pubished in New York by Macmillan Reference USA in 2004.
“LeBeau, Claude,” written by Étienne Taillemite and published in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 2. Published by the University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–.
New England in Early Printed Maps 1513-1800: An Annotated Carto-Bibliography. Written by Barbara B. McCorkle. Published in Providence, RI by The John Carter Brown Library in 2001.
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