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2006 Catalog > Alexander Keith Johnston, U.S. and Texas

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A Superbly Detailed British Map of the Republic of Texas
on the Eve of Statehood

33. Alexander Keith Johnston. “United States and Texas” (Edinburgh: John Johnstone and W. & A. K. Johnston, c. 1844). Published in National Atlas of Historical, Commercial and Political Geography. Steel-plate engraving with original outline hand color. 19 x 23 1/2" at neat line. Distinctive piano key border. Framed size: 33 3/4 x 38". Inset in u. l.: “Sketch of the River Niagara” (5 1/2 x 3 3/4"). Faint damp stain in l. l. quadrant and minor scattered spotting in lower margin. Overall, excellent condition (by sight). Handsome archival presentation in ornate gold-tone frame.

Price: SOLD.

Typical of British maps of the mid-nineteenth century, Johnston’s “United States and Texas” contains a wealth of accurate and clearly presented information. The map features a superb rendering of the Republic of Texas, the details of which Johnston derived from Arrowsmith’s famous separate 1841 map of the republic. Texas is shown with its borders prior to the Compromise of 1850, colored in red. The northern boundary extends to the Arkansas River at the 38th parallel and the western one into New Mexico just past Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Taos. A note in the bottom left corner announces the dates of foreign recognition of independent Texas: “The Independence of Texas was formally declared in March 1836. It was recognized by Great Britain in Novr. 1840; and has been acknowledged by the United States, France, Holland, and Belgium.” Johnston’s map likely dates to 1844, the year in which Secretary of State John C. Calhoun sponsored a treaty for the annexation of Texas. The treaty failed, but annexation finally occurred in March 1845. Scottish mapmakers were particularly well regarded during this period. The present is a fine example from the Johnston company, notable for the presentation of much valuable information in a handsome and accessible format. An excellent map for the independent Republic of Texas.

Refs.: LeGear, Atlases, 6108 (lithographic ed.); Phillips, Maps, p. 901.

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