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October 26, 2007

Rare Almanac Map Showing Texas on the Eve of the Civil War

123. [MAP]. RICHARDSON, W[illard]. Richardson’s New Map of the State of Texas Including Part of Mexico Compiled from Government Surveys and Other Authentic Documents Published by Charles Desilver No. 714 Chestnut Street Philadelphia. Engraved Expressly for the Texas Almanac. Corrected by H. Wickeland 1861 [below ornamental border at left] Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1861 by Charles Desilver, in the Clerks Office of the District Court of the eastern district of Pennsylvania. [lower left] Explanation [key] Railroads, etc. in Texas [pasted printed slip covering earlier printing].... [inset map at lower right measuring 16.1 x 17.3 cm] Map Showing the Proposed Route of the Aransas Railroad (and its) Connections with the Eastern Roads. Philadelphia: Charles Desilver, 1861.  Lithograph map with original full coloring, ornate vine border. Border to border: 62.4 x 82.4 cm.; neat line to neat line: 57.2 x 77.3 cm. Triangular piece of upper corner (approximately 14 x 8 x 17 cm) supplied in neat facsimile, a few minor losses at folds, several small ink blots (some in main image but most confined to left side), a few closed tears. Professionally washed and stabilized.

            Basic Texas Books 172E (citing the 1861 almanac with map). Howes T138 (citing the Richardson series of almanacs, noting that some of the almanacs did not have maps, but designating the present map for the 1861 almanac). Phillips, America, p. 846. Rader 3070 (citing the series and maps). See also: Day, pp. 67, 78, 85 (citing the maps available with the Texas almanacs for the years 1860, 1867, and 1871). Taliaferro 322A, 322B (citing photostats of the 1859 and 1860 almanac maps). Winkler 1373x (Vol. I, pp. 271-272). Cf. Winkler 1373 (citing the almanac) notes that the publishers had the map printed in the North because it could not be printed in Texas.

            Rumsey (5178.000) has an excellent discussion of this map (

This is an exceptionally attractive map of Texas on the eve of the Civil War. It was issued with Richardson’s Texas Almanac of 1861 or possibly the 1862 issue (almanac not present). Railroads completed and in progress are particularly well delineated, and a box of text in the lower left corner (pasted on top of an earlier printing) lists the completed railroads and their proposed extensions as well as one canal, the Galveston Bay and Brazos River. In the lower right is an inset map of the proposed route of the Aransas Railroad. The topography, coasts and rivers are accurately delineated, with the source being the outstanding Map of Texas and part of Mexico, 1857, issued by the Bureau of Topographical Engineers.... Pressler’s Map of the State of Texas, 1858, is a secondary source, as is J. H. Young’s Map of the State of Texas which was published in Desilver’s 1859 (Mitchell’s) New Universal Atlas.... Richardson’s map is a serious production, far more up to date than the Colton, Johnson, or Desilver/Mitchell atlas maps of 1861, and more accurate in west Texas, southern New Mexico and northern Mexico than the Pressler 1858 Texas (although Pressler issued an 1862 revised edition, not seen by us, that may be much improved). The first issue of Richardson’s map appeared in the 1859 edition of the Texas Almanac, with the map dated 1859, copyright 1858 (Winkler 1052); again in the 1860 Almanac, with the map dated 1860; and our copy, dated 1861 and presumably appearing in the 1861 Almanac (Rosenberg 322B states that the Almanacs for 1857, and 1862-65 did not contain maps). Two other maps appeared in the Richardson Almanacs: J. H. Young’s Map of the State of Texas (from Desilver’s atlas) in the 1858 Almanac (Winkler 886 note) and Richardson’s New Map of Texas, published by G. W. and C. B. Colton (Day 428 - about the same size as the Colton atlas map of 1867 and possibly related) and issued in the 1867 Almanac....

            Willard Richardson (1802-1875) came to Texas in 1837. After working as a teacher for nearly a decade, he became a newspaperman almost by chance, the career for which he is best known. His main achievements were the publication of his series of Texas almanacs and his guidance of the Galveston News from a small local paper to what shortly after his death became present-day Dallas Morning NewsHandbook of Texas Online: Willard Richardson.

            The reviser of this map, Heinrich Wickeland (ca. 1833-1864), was a professional engineer and surveyor who arrived in Texas around 1856 from Germany, at which time he accompanied Jacob DeCordova as one of the chief surveyors on his expedition to the Canadian River Valley. He also served in the Confederate Army. Handbook of Texas Online: Heinrich Wickeland.


Sold. Hammer: $3,000.00; Price Realized: $3,525.00

Auction 21 Abstracts

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