2010/11 Winter Catalogue, William R. Talbot Fine Art, Antique Maps & Prints Home

2010/11 Winter Catalogue > 19. EARLY MAP of the NEW STATE of TEXAS


J. H. Young. “Map of the State of Texas from the Latest Authorities,” (Philadelphia: Thomas, Cowperthwait & Co., 1850–53. From A New Universal Atlas . . . containing a special map of each of the United States. Lithograph with original full hand color. 12 3/4 x 15 7/8" at neat line. Sheet: 13 3/4 x 16 1/8." Inset maps: “Northern Texas on the same scale as the larger map,” u.l. and “Map of the Vicinity of Galveston City,” l.l. Two very minor chips at u.l. edge of sheet. Very clean. Excellent condition.


J. H. Young’s beautifully drawn map of Texas was published in the year in which the Compromise of 1850 fixed the geographic shape of the new state. Accordingly, the map shows the newly resolved boundary of northern Texas at latitude 36° 30' (appearing in the inset at upper left), thus relinquishing the Texas claim to the upper Rio Grande and eastern New Mexico.

In part a promotional aid for the settlement of the new state, this map provides a wealth of information for the emigrant. The progress of settlement and land development is reflected by the contrast between the dense concentration of counties in the eastern half of the state and the open expanses of proto-counties and empressario colonies in the western half. The western edge of the frontier is clearly discernable by tracing the line of U. S. forts whose names are underscored on the map. Charged with defending the frontier against Indian attacks, the army had to establish new forts to keep up with the advancement of settlers to the west during the 1850s.

Other important details include towns, post offices, and the delineation of railroads in progress. Numerous text blocks describe the Rio Grande, El Llano Estacado (the Staked Plain), and the early progress of railroads in Texas. Lower Cross Timbers appears, a forest that was considered in 1834 by the U.S. Government to be the “western boundary of habitable land.” A Population Chart includes demographics such as male, female, free, and slave. While no Native Americans are counted, a note on the map explains that the Grand Indian Crossing on the Rio Grande is the place where Apaches and Comanches “cross in their annual predatory incursions into Mexico.

The J.H. Young map of Texas was engraved by J.L. Hazzard and entered into government records in the year 1850, as noted on map. The map appeared in a successive publications throughout the 1850s, with Thomas, Cowperthwait & Co. publishing the map in 1850 and 1853. Cowperthwait, Desilver & Butler then issued the map in 1854 and 1855. By 1856, a revised version was produced by Charles Desilver bearing both the new date and a new decorative border. The present map is a beautiful and fascinating document of the western frontier and the early days of the State of Texas.

Refs.: Day & Dunlap #35; LeGear, Atlases, 6118 (1855 ed.); Phillips, Maps, p. 845; Rumsey no. 4557.025 (1859 ed.).

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