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AUCTION 22

 

Precise German Map of Texas in 1847—Choice, Early German Texana


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300.     [MAP]. [GERMAN COLONIZATION IN TEXAS]. Texas eine geographische Skizze bearbeitet nach Berghaus Länderkunde und den neuesten Forschungen des Prinzen Carl zu Solms Braunfels und anderer Reisenden. von Walter Farmer in Texas 1847 [top left] Namen der Cantons [list of 32 counties] [lower left below counties: untitled comments and keys to rivers, towns, etc.]. N.p., 1847. Lithograph map of Texas, original hand coloring (boundaries, county lines, and rivers outlined in yellow; coasts outlined in yellow, brown, and blue; “Gebiet des Deutschen Vereins” outlined in green; Fredericksburg, New Braunfels, and Indian Point underlined in green). Neat line to neat line: 27 x 22.5 cm; overall sheet size: 41.2 x 34.3 cm. One soft horizontal crease and light edge wear, otherwise exceptionally fine with untrimmed margins. Very rare. No copies located on OCLC. Searches of UT, General Land Office of Texas, Texas State Library, Yale, etc., yielded no holdings.

     First edition. Not in Day (Maps of Texas), Phillips (America), Taliaferro (Cartographic Sources in the Rosenberg Library), and other standard sources. The only record for the present map we have found is a listing in Katalog der Commerz-Bibliothek in Hamburg (Hamburg, 1864, column 1261), where it is attributed to Walter. It has been asserted that his map is from the following work: F.E. Walther. Texas in sein wahres Licht gestellt…. (Dresden & Leipzig: Arnoldische Buchhandlung, 1848). See: Howes W75; Raines, p. 211; Sabin 101208. However, the present map is not at all similar to the map that appeared in Walther’s book, which is much smaller and covers a far larger area with no particular focus on Texas. This confusion may have arisen due to attributions to sources on the present map, including “Walter.”

     This handsome and relatively detailed map was intended for use by German emigrants to the Adelsverein lands in Texas, which are clearly indicated by outline color. One notable feature of the map is that it shows land distances from Galveston and Indian Point to various locales. The road from Port Lavaca through Victoria, Seguin, New Braunfels, Fredericksburg, and on to Fort San Saba is shown, as is the old King’s Highway between Presidio Rio Grande and Nacogdoches. Mileages between points are also indicated. In far northern Texas, Coffee’s Trading House is located on the Red River. The westernmost feature shown on the map is Presidio Rio Grande; to the east the boundary at the Sabine is shown; to the north the Red River is the last feature; to the south it is Matamoros.

The first German emigrants under the sponsorship of the Adelsverein arrived in Texas in December of 1844. But ambitious plans soon tragically fell apart. Although the efforts of Solms-Braunfels and the Adelsverein were on their last legs when this map was published, it remains an important indication of continued German interest in emigration to Texas, which continued to occur for many years.

($4,000-8,000)

Sold. Hammer: $8,500.00; Price Realized: $10,200.00

Auction 22 Abstracts

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