Alexander von Humboldt. Essai Politique sur le Royaume de la Nouvelle-Espagna . . . Avec un Atlas Physique et Geographique du Royaume de la Nouvelle-Espagne. Paris: F. Schoell, 1811-1812.

Gift of Virginia Lazenby O’Hara.

German scientist Alexander von Humboldt spent five years, between 1799 and 1804, exploring Spanish America. This work, one of his first to draw on the body of material he collected in New Spain, focused on the area’s physical and economic geography, social structure, public health system, and statistical measures and is considered a founding work in the field. It contains references to the early exploration of California and the most complete and accurate picture of the natural resources of Mexico at that time. The atlas includes Humboldt’s monumental map of New Spain, important because he was given access to Spanish archives that were generally off-limits to foreigners and was thus able to produce what has been called one of the most seminal maps of Texas and the Southwest.


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