Dorothy Sloan -- Books

Copyright 2000-2017 by Dorothy Sloan-Rare Books Inc. for all materials on this site. All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.

AUCTION 20

Large Format Pocket Map of Texas by Roessler, 1874

140. [MAP]. ROESSLER, A[nton] R. [State seal above title] A. R. Roessler's Latest Map of the State of Texas Exhibiting Mineral-and Agricultural Districts, Post Offices & Mailroutes, Railroads Projected and Finished, Timber, Prairie, Swamp Lands, etc. etc. etc. Authorities: Official Maps of the U.S. & Texas State General Land-Offices, Surveys & Reconnoissances of the U.S. Coast Survey, the Various Rail Road Surveys, U.S. Mexican Boundary Commission Surveys, U.S. Engineer Dept. and Other Authentic Materials. Compiled and Drawn by M. V. Mittendorfer, C.E. 1874 [copyright above neat line at lower right] Entered According to Act of Congress in the Year 1874 by A. R. Roessler in the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington [below neat line at lower right] Ed. W. Welcke & Bro. 141 Fulton St. N.Y. [notice at left middle border] Principal Depot at the Publication Office 83 Nassau St. New York [large inset map at lower left] Map Showing Agricultural Districts and Varieties of Soils in the State of Texas Printed by Ferd. Mayer 96 & 98 Fulton St. New York [three-column chart at lower center] Enumeration of the Principal Minerals, Rocks, Soils and Timber Varieties Known to Exist in the State of Texas, Arranged According to Counties. [pictorial key to county seats, railroads, post routes, minerals, etc. at lower right] Explanations [vignette in ornate frame, below title at right] State Capitol at Austin [vignette in ornate frame, at left] General Land Office at Austin. New York, 1874. Lithographed map with original full color and rose outline. Neat line to neat line: 97.2 x 108 cm. Folded into pocket covers (18.1 x 13.1 cm), original green pebble cloth, gilt seal of the State of Texas and lettering in gilt on upper cover: A. R. Roessler’s Latest Map of Texas Published Aug 1874. New York, both covers blind-embossed. Several splits at folds and one tear (13 cm) at lower left, but no losses, otherwise very fine and fresh, unfoxed, and with excellent coloring. Upper cover is fine; and lower cover has light staining and a few small spots. Front endpaper slightly discolored and light chipping to gutter. Old pencil note: “RNX $175.” Laid in is an early twentieth-century typewritten sheet: “Muster Roll of Captain R. J. Irving’s Company of Blanco County, 3rd Frontier District Commanded by Brig. Genl. J. D. McAdoo, calling into the service of the State of Texas by Gov. P. Murroh [sic]...December 15, 1863....Captain A. S. Roberts, paymaster [list of company members] Mustered into service Janie. 30, 1864, in Blanco County by E. Franzden.” Provenance: Private citizen of Pasadena, Texas, whose grandfather, a restorer of furniture, gave the map to him many years ago.

     First edition, the large format version (see Item No. 71 here for the small format version that came out two years later; also additional information on Roessler). Day, p. 90. Phillips, America, p. 847. Taliaferro 349: "Roessler's maps are the only printed maps that preserve the results of the Shumard survey, the state's first geological and agricultural survey." Hungarian Anton R. Roessler (1826-1893) was a notable cartographer, topographer, draftsman, geologist, real estate promoter, self promoter, and “the most thorough and ideal crank of any age” (p. 156, Vassar Collection Newsletter). His training, said to have been in Vienna, must have been rock solid, because Roessler became one of the best cartographers in Texas when he emigrated to Austin in 1860.

     In 1860-1861 Roessler served as draftsman, cartographer, and geologist for the Shumard Survey, the first in-depth geological and agricultural survey of Texas. Regrettably, the Shumard Survey derailed due to the exigencies of politics and the Civil War. Unlike some other members of the survey team, Roessler remained in Texas and served as chief draftsman of the Austin arsenal during the Texas Confederacy. Though later accused of plagiarism (and worse), which Roessler hotly contested, there is no doubt that he was responsible for preserving documentation on the 1858 Shumard Survey, which otherwise would have been lost or destroyed when the geological survey rooms were converted to be a percussion-cap factory for the Confederacy. Roessler was accused of stealing the Shumard survey data for private use in his mining and real estate ventures (the Texas Land and Copper Association and the Texas Land and Immigration Company of New York). In the late 1860s, Roessler worked as a geologist for the United States Land Office in Washington, D.C. In the 1870s he created sixteen county maps and at least three maps of Texas that bear his name. See Handbook of Texas Online: Anton R. Roessler; also, Keith Young, "The Roessler Maps," Texas Journal of Science 17 (March 1965). Roessler’s incorporation of detailed documentation from the Shumard Survey into his maps make them the most reliable nineteenth-century record of agricultural and mineral wealth of the state.

  The present map shows counties in color, towns, roads, railroads, telegraph lines, military posts, physical features, Native American reservations in New Mexico and Indian Territory, and locations of mineral deposits (with illustrated key to types of minerals). The hotly disputed Greer County to the east of the Panhandle is still shown as part of Texas. The Panhandle includes the hunting range of the Comanche. Interesting for architectural and Austin history are the vignettes of the General Land Office and the original State Capitol building, the latter destroyed by fire in 1881.

     Historically, Roessler’s large format map is rare in commerce, but two copies were sold at auction recently. A copy in pocket format sold in the Texas State Historical Association benefit auction in March 2006, realized $26,400. A cased copy in 60 sections brought $48,300 a few days later at Swann Auction Gallery in New York. ($25,000-50,000)

Sold. Hammer: $34,000.00; Price Realized: $39,950.00

<< Previous Lot (139) | Auction 20 Abstracts | Next Lot (141) >>

Images (click to enlarge)
item illustration
item illustration
item illustration
item illustration
item illustration
item illustration

Home | e-mail: rarebooks@sloanrarebooks.com