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Auction 13: A Few Good Maps & Manuscripts

Lot 11

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11. [MAP]. EMORY, W[illiam] H[emsley]. Map of Texas and the Countries Adjacent Compiled in the Bureau of the Corps of Topographical Engineens [sic] from the Best Authorities for the State Department under the Direction of Colonel J. J. Abert Chief of the Corps by W. H. Emory, 1st. Lieut. T. E. War Department 1844. [Washington, 1844]. Lithographic map. 53.2 x 78.8 cm (21 x 31 inches). Lower left: Land and population statistics; relative position of the Presidio of Rio Grande and San Antonio de Bexar; and cartographic authorities on whom Emory relied. Upper right: Table of areas giving limits of Texas as defined by Republic of Texas Congress and U.S. Senate resolution. A few tears skillfully repaired (no losses), otherwise very fine. Small blind-embossed German stamp at lower right.

     First edition, first issue (large-scale format) of a key map in the historical cartography of Texas and the Southwest—the first map published by the United States government to recognize the boundaries of the Republic of Texas, thus recognizing Texas as a separate entity. One of two large-scale issues of Emory’s map, for which no priority has been established (the other large-scale issue bears the inscription W. J. Stone Sc. Washn., is on thinner paper, has pale outline coloring, and Engineers in title is correctly spelled). A small-scale edition came out the same year. Martin & Martin, Maps of Texas and the Southwest, 1513-1900 #33: “The map...displayed the vast territorial claims of the Republic of Texas in relation to the whole of the American Southwest. First map to show correctly the full extent of the boundaries set by the Texas Congress on December 19, 1836, extending to the forty-second parallel above the sources of the Rio Grande and Arkansas River... Little was known west of Austin although the Edwards Plateau was indicated... Emory himself had never been to Texas and, consequently, he based the map not on actual observation but on information gleaned from the numerous sources available to him in the offices of the Corps of Topographical Engineers in Washington... In fashioning a synthesis from these sources, Emory was often forced to reconcile conflicting information”; p. 37: “As the Republic period drew to a close, the United States Army saw the likelihood of a future war in the Texas region, and planning for that contingency, produced a landmark map. Compiled by William H. Emory of the Corps of Topographical Engineers, for whom this was merely the beginning of a long association with Texas and the Southwest, the map represented the best available topographical description of the region at the time of its publication in 1844.” Streeter 1543: “It is probable that the large-scale map was issued before the edition on smaller scale.” Taliaferro, p. 15n (designating Emory’s map as important for its contribution to Texas geography as a whole and providing a "valuable record of the social and political evolution of the state during the crucial years when much of its territory was first settled by a population of European origin"). Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West #478 (describing the small-scale issue).      ($6,000-10,000)

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