AUCTION 23

 
 

Map of Mexico & Texas Based on Observations by an Englishman Adventurer-Entrepreneur in Texas in the 1820s

 
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307. [MAP]. HALL, Sidney & Simon A.G. Bourne. Mexico. and Guatimala. Corrected from original information communicated by Simon A.G. Bourne, Esq. [below lower border] London, Published by Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown & Green, Paternoster Row, March, 1828. [text to left of title] The Mines are distinguished by a Cross thus + [numbers at right outside map proper] 46 [and] XLVI. London: Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown & Green, 1828. Engraved map (United States to slightly South of Delaware Bay, Transmississippi West and Texas as part of Mexico, Central America), two joined sheets on thick paper, original outline color, piano key border; border to border: 41.5 x 51.5 cm; overall sheet size: 49.2 x 63.2 cm. Some moderate staining (mainly confined to blank margins), offsetting from another map at left margin. Overall very good.

     First edition. Hall published several atlases, including A New General Atlas (1830; see Phillips, Atlases 756). Kapp, Central America 104. Rumsey 4224.047 (commenting on Hall’s atlas in general): “[Hall] declares the maps to be up to date, making good use of the Lewis and Clark and Long maps. Interestingly for a British cartographer, Hall shows Maine and Oregon with the most ambitious U.S. claims as to territory. Graphically, these maps are very striking and beautiful, with outline color.” Wheat (Mapping the Transmississippi West, II, p. 95 & #381) cites the map as an example of the generation of maps that followed Lewis & Clark’s maps. The map is more interesting for its Texas connection.

     Sidney Hall credits Simon A.G. Bourne in the title cartouche. The same year as this map Bourne published in London a 16-page book on Texas, Observations upon the Mexican Province of Texas. Streeter (1099, locating two copies) comments on Bourne’s book:

These Observations, apparently founded in part on first-hand knowledge, give a brief but good account of the physical characteristics of Texas, its population, climate, fertility of the soil, and so on, with a section at the end, “Grants of Land for Colonization,” that especially mentions the grant to General Wavell along the south bank of the Red River, with shorter references to the grants to Milam and Austin. It is a fair guess that the pamphlet was issued to aid Wavell’s project. It is worth noting that the printer of the Observations was also the printer of the Laws of Colonization published in London in 1828 (entry No. 1101). On page 16 there is a reference, “See the annexed Map.” My copy is in the original stitching and there is no sign of a map having once been present. It may have been intended to publish with the pamphlet Sidney Hall’s map, Mexico. and Guatimala. Corrected from original information communicated by Simon A.G. Bourne Esq., London, 1828, a separate of which is in my collection. Bourne was in London at the time the Observations were published and in touch there with Wavell and the latter’s associate, Benjamin Milam. See the note to Wavell’s Grant, entry No. 1105. That Bourne had some familiarity with Texas is indicated by the footnote to his account in Ward’s Mexico in 1827 (entry No. 1104), of a visit to Sonora and Cinaloa (pp. 559-591 of Vol. I), where he mentions a similarity between part of the country visited and part of Texas south of Espirito Santo Bay. In the Observations, at page 9, is a note regarding a visit Bourne made to western Louisiana in 1821. It would be interesting to learn more about him. Locations: ICN. TWS.

     According to an ad by the publishers in another book, Bourne was employed in Mexico, which then included Texas, to make geographical surveys. Robert S. Martin, “Maps of an Empresario: Austin’s Contribution to the Cartography of Texas” in Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Vol. 85, July 1981-April 1982, p. 382:

One copy of Austin’s [1822] map is found in the Witte Museum in San Antonio. On this copy Austin’s name is joined by that of Simon A.G. Bourne as the author of the work. Bourne was an Englishman who first came to Texas with the filibustering expedition of James Long in 1819 and evidently spent some time there. He unsuccessfully applied for several grants in Texas in conjunction with Haden Edwards and Daniel Stuart, and apparently toured the mines of Sonora and Sinaloa before returning to England. He furnished information to the London map publisher Sidney Hall for his map of Texas. [Note: The first published edition of Stephen F. Austin’s map was 1830.]

     In the Austin Papers (Vol. I, p. 498) is a letter from Reilly to Hawkins with brief mention of Bourne (“Burns”) an Englishman with the Long Expedition. A document in Spanish dated in October 1821 from the Nacogdoches Archives lists the names, rank (or occupation), country of origin and religion of those captured at La Bahia, and among them is Simon Bourne “Mayor Yngles.”

     Samuel Truett, Fugitive Landscapes: The Forgotten History of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006,pp. 34 et seq gives a good account of Bourne’s adventures in Sonora and Sinaloa in 1826, and the impetus for his travels in Mexico and Texas:

When Mexico achieved independence in 1821, British entrepreneurs coursed across the ocean, sending back a flurry of promotional pamphlets on mines and prospects. Their dream was the same across the board: British ingenuities and technologies, including steam engines to drain flooded mines, would reclaim these lost landscapes from both nature and a backward colonial past, thereby completing the domestication of Mexico.... British and Mexican dreams converged in early 1826, when two British entrepreneurs sailed to Guaymas in search of hidden treasure. The first was Col. Simon Bourne....

($300-600)

Sold. Hammer: $300.00; Price Realized: $367.50.

Auction 23 Abstracts

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