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Mapping the Country of RegionsThe Chorographic Commission of Nineteenth-Century Colombia$
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Nancy P. Appelbaum

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781469627441

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469627441.001.0001

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Distinguished Citizens of the Illustrated World

Distinguished Citizens of the Illustrated World

Creation and Composition of the Commission

Chapter:
(p.17) 1 Distinguished Citizens of the Illustrated World
Source:
Mapping the Country of Regions
Author(s):

Nancy P. Appelbaum

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469627441.003.0002

The first chapter lays out the origins and composition of the Chorographic Commission to show how it reflected its members’ aspirations and assumptions. The commission built on the work of earlier New Granada geographers such as Francisco José de Caldas and Joaquín Acosta. Its founding members were Agustín Codazzi and Manuel Ancízar; its first illustrator was Carmelo Fernández, followed by Henry Price. Botanist José Jerónimo Triana joined the commission as well. Other key figures included Tomás Cipriano de Mosquera and José María Samper. The official commissioners and most of the other individuals who contributed to the commission hailed from either the Andean regions of New Granada or abroad. The result was an an Andean-centered depiction of the nation, which slighted lowland regions such as the Caribbean coast. The commissioners were overwhelmingly male, but women contributed in less obvious ways. The commission was at once parochial, national, and cosmopolitan; it was consistently patriarchal, but it embodied both liberal and conservative impulses. Commissioners were deeply implicated in the political tranformations of their period, particularly the reorganization of the nation into a decentralized federation in the late 1850s, which, in tandem with the commission’s maps and images, reinforced the nation’s regional divisions and identities.

Keywords:   Manuel Ancízar, Francisco José de Caldas, Chorographic Commission, Federalism, Carmelo Fernández, Tomás Cipriano de Mosquera, Henry Price, José Manuel Restrepo, José María Samper, José Jerónimo Triana

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