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Pub Year Map Maker Pub Place Map Title Map Price (USD) Picture
1843Arrowsmith, JohnLondonMap of Texas, compiled from Surveys recorded in the Land Office of Texas, and other official surveys. $29,500 Picture

An engraved map with original vivid hand-drawn outline colors.

Size: 61.5cm (24.2 inches) x 48.5cm (19 inches) Scale: 1 inch = approximately 47 miles.

Map Type: Atlas

The title is ornately lettered with seals of the Republic of Texas and the General Land Office Texas. Two miniscule spots present above the Canadian River and in Milam county. This is a superior copy.

John Arrowsmith (1790 - 1873) Founding member of the Royal Geographical Society in London. His London Atlas of Universal Geography was originally published in 1834 and continually revised and extended through 1854. (Later versions of this atlas are valued for their new surveys in Australia, North America, and Texas.).

Arrowsmith first published this famous map of the Republic of Texas in early 1841, shortly after the Republic was officially recognized by Great Britain on November 16, 1840 (as stated on the map). This example is the third version, issued June 8, 1843. Arrowsmith's map of Texas was the "first to show the full extent of Texas's claim to the region of the upper Rio Grande, including the city of Santa Fe, an area included within Texas's boundaries until the Compromise of 1850"1 with Mexico. The southern boundry is shown as the Rio Grande instead of the Nueces river. The map includes two insets, one showing the geographical relationship with Mexico, Texas and the United States, and another inset showing important Galveston Bay, with soundings illustrated for the immigrating traveler the best route to the new city of Houston, Austin, Bastrop, and destinations beyond. "The showing of the settled Texas area, along the Gulf of Mexico, is excellent".2

There are legends for "Route of the Ranger Colon Many 1833," "Route of the Dragons under Col. Dodge 1834," and "Elsworths Route". There are also legends for "Road from Bexar to Nacogodoches." "Route of General Rusk's Army," and "Waggon Rd to Santa Fe". Many other features are noted, including range areas of the Apaches Mescalero and Comanche Indian tribes. Land features and conditions are also noted such as "beautiful prairie," "delightful prairie," "rich land," "excellent land," and "valuable land".

Many mapmakers that followed Arrowsmith copied liberally from this map, including some of its errors, such as the description of west Texas; "This tract of country as far as North Canadian Fork was explored by Le Grand in 1833. It is naturally fertile, well wooded, and with a fair proportion of water." This quote appeared on many maps until 1855.

"When this fine map was issued, Texas was an independent republic, having broken away from Mexico in 1836. During its brief life - it was annexed by the United States in 1845 - several maps of the republic were published with the aim of stimulating American immigration."

"That such a detailed map of Texas should appear in a British atlas can be explained by the fact that Britain saw a need to maintain the existence of Texas as a potential market for British goods, free of the restrictions of US commercial tariffs, and as a source of cotton independent of the rival cotton-producing Southern States of the USA."

"Texas could only compete with the South with the aid of slave labor, to which Britain was strongly opposed. British recognition of the new republic was therefore withheld until 1840 in the hope that slavery might be abolished in Texas, and that with emancipation, a free Texas might be used as a base from which to undermine slavery in the neighboring States of the USA."

"This map is one of the rarest published by John Arrowsmith in his London Atlas; it did not appear in atlases following the annexation in 1845"3

Texas insets: Remarks on Texas; Rivers of Texas; Land Grants.

This striking Arrowsmith Map of Texas is an incomparable historical treasure.


1Mapping the Trans-Mississippi West, # 451, Wheat, Carl, Maurizio Martino Publisher, Storrs-Mansfield, CT, 1957

2Maps of Texas and the Southwest, Plate 32, Martin & Martin, Texas State Historical Assn, Austin, 1999

3"The Mapping of North America, Map 75, Goss, John, the Wellfleet Press,1990"

Other Map References: Streeter, Thomas W. Bibliography of Texas 1373, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1960

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