highly Influential 1836 Young-Mitchell Emigration Pocket Map of Texas
374. [MAP]. YOUNG, J[ames] H[amilton]. A New Map of Texas, with the Contiguous American & Mexican States by J.H. Young. Philadelphia: Published by S. Augustus Mitchell. 1836 Entered according to Act of Congress in the Year 1835 by S. Augustus Mitchell in the Clerks office of the district court of the eastern district of Pennsylvania [below neat line] Engraved by J.H. Young [left of title] Sold by Mitchell & Hinman No. 6 North Fifth Street. 1836 [text inset lower left] Land Grants [text inset upper right] Remarks on Texas [text inset lower right] Rivers of Texas. Philadelphia, 1836. Copper-engraved map on bank note paper, original full hand coloring, title ornately lettered, piano key border, neat line to neat line: 32.5 x 39.5 cm; overall sheet size: 33.5 x 40.3 cm. Folded into original blind-embossed tan roan pocket cover (12.3 x 7.7 cm), title lettered in gilt within ornate gilt rectangular border. Pocket covers rubbed. Two small triangular voids at far left (beneath upper pocket cover and supplied in expert facsimile) and a few miniscule voids and splits at folds, map very fine, laid down on archival paper. Contemporary pencil signature of "Foote" on pastedown of upper cover. Fresh, vivid coloring.
Second issue of one of the most colorful maps of Texas ever published, and considered by many to be the most desirable issue, being the first one published after Texas became an independent republic in that pivotal year 1836. The map first came out in 1835, on the eve of the Texas Revolution. Streeter 1178A (one of the few maps singled out by Streeter for inclusion in his bibliography of Texas): “The same plate is used for all editions of this map and it covers substantially the same area as the Burr map first published in 1833.” Day, Maps of Texas, p. 21. Phillips, America, p. 844 (1843 issue). Raines, p. 250 (1837 issue). Rumsey 5140.0001
The influx of Anglo-American colonists into Texas in the 1830s stimulated demand for maps of the region. Intense interest in events west of the Sabine prompted publisher S. Augustus Mitchell to publish eight versions of this map between 1835 and 1845. Following the appearance in 1830 of Stephen F. Austin’s landmark map, the commercial publishers of New York and Philadelphia began to issue maps to meet public demand. Among the earliest and most important of these maps was the Mitchell-Young map. The various issues document the cartographical sequence of the Republic of Texas, and the committed (or perhaps should-be committed) collector will want all eight issues, though the challenge might prove severely challenging.
In the present issue, Texas is shown divided into the various empresario grants under the Mexican state of Coahuila y Tejas, and is smaller than the area claimed by Texas after independence. The southern boundary is shown at the Nueces River. All territory north of the Red River is attached to Santa Fe formerly New Mexico. Generally, the map follows the conformation of the Burr map of 1833, only here the Louisiana-Texas boundary is shown correctly.
The lengthy inset texts are an important, colorful feature of the map, giving contemporary information concerning Texas—how to obtain land, reference to the burgeoning Anglo-American population, the political movement for a Texas government separate from Coahuila, glowing report on the resources of Texas, including, “Texas is one of the finest stock countries in the world. Cattle are raised in great abundance and with but little trouble.” The guarantee is given that “New settlers are exempt from the payment of the usual taxes for the term of ten years.” Other texts discuss the probability of navigating by steam the Texas waterways and boasting that the Brazos River is considered equal in fertility to any in the world. Prospective settlers were further encouraged by the “advantages which doubtless will at no distant period render [Texas] an opulent and powerful State.” Truly, the shameless puffery in the texts easily rivals all Texas brags for packing so much flattering information into such small spaces.
The serendipitous relationship between Mitchell and Young gave us some of the truly outstanding maps of the United States and the West, this map being one of them. The conformation of Texas in this map was influential, persisting many decades after its creation, as documented by various later incarnations thereof in this catalogue, including Item 375 following herein. The cartographic labors of Young and Mitchell resulted in maps that have been compared to the work of distinguished English mapmaker John Arrowsmith the younger, and the pair came on the scene at a great moment of national expansion, following the expeditions of Lewis and Clark, Pike, and others, which stimulated an interest in the newer parts of the country and created a strong market for maps, atlases, and guidebooks. See DAB (Mitchell).
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Copyright Dorothy Sloan 2009