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October 26, 2007

Arrowsmith’s Archetypal 1841 Map of the Republic of Texas

71. [MAP]. ARROWSMITH, John. A Map of Texas, Compiled from Surveys Recorded in the Land Office of Texas, and Other Official Surveys. By John Arrowsmith, Soho Square. London. [pictorial seals of the Republic of Texas and the General Land Office of Texas] Recognized as an Independent State by Great Britain 16th. Novr. 1840. [below neat line at center] London, Pubd. 17 April, 1841. by John Arrowsmith, 10 Soho Square. [inset lower left] Plan of Galveston Bay from a M.S. [inset lower right: untitled map of North America from lower Canada to Central America with Republic of Texas outlined in pink]. Engraved map on thin paper, original outline coloring on map and insets (neat line to neat line: 60 x 50.5 cm). Other than faint offsetting, very fine, original condition, with strong original outline coloring.

The map is bound, as issued, in: KENNEDY, William. Texas: The Rise, Progress, and Prospects of the Republic of Texas. In Two Volumes...Volume I. London: R. Hastings, 13, Carey Street, Lincoln’s Inn, 1841. lii, 378 pp., 4 maps (see list below). 8vo (23 x 14 cm), original blind-stamped dark olive green cloth (neatly recased and restored), generally very fine. The title page of the book is inscribed by the author: “To Sir John Philippart, with the Author’s Compliments.” Prolific literary author and compiler John Philippart (1784?-1874, DNB) wrote Memoirs and Campaigns of Charles John: Prince Royal of Sweden (London, 1814), The Royal Military Calendar, or Army Service and Commission Book (London, 1820), etc.

Additional Maps in this Volume

[] [Untitled chart of Matagorda Bay] C. F. Cheffins litho London. Lithograph map, neat line to neat line: 11.7 x 18 cm. Opposite p. 34. Very fine.

[2] Aranzas Bay, as Surveyed by Captn. Monroe of the “Amos Wright” [lower left, below neat line] C. F. Cheffins, litho. Southampton Bdgs Holborn. Lithograph map, neat line to neat line: 19.1 x 11.5 cm. Opposite p. 50. Very fine.

[3] Map of the Republic of Texas and the Adjacent Territories, Indicating the Grants of Land Conceded under the Empresario System of Mexico. C. F. Cheffins, Lithographer, Southampton Bdgs Holborn. Lithograph map, neat line to neat line: 31.5 x 38 cm, compass rose at lower left. Folding map facing p. 336. Very fine.

            Second issue of large Arrowsmith map of Texas in the first edition of book (see below for more details on the book). The map first appeared in Arrowsmith’s London Atlas [1832-1846] with an imprint date of February 1841 (Streeter 1373; Phillips, Atlases 74); a second issue followed, as here; and the third issue came out in the reissue of Arrowsmith’s London Atlas, 1842-[1850] with imprint date of June 8, 1843 (Streeter 1373A; Phillips, Atlases 789). Amon Carter Museum, Crossroads of Empire: Early Printed Maps of Texas and the Southwest, 1513-1900 33: “Regarded as the best and most useful map of Texas at the time of its publication. The depiction of the western boundary of Texas as the Rio Grande as far north as its source reflects the popular notion of that period and helps to illustrate the rationale behind the ill-fated Santa Fe expedition. The map was widely copied, attested by the number of times Arrowsmith’s errors in the Panhandle area describing that territory as well-wooded and watered were added to many later maps. Despite this mistake, the map is generally one of the best maps for the Republic period.” Day, p. 35. Martin & Martin, Maps of Texas and the Southwest, 1513-1900 #32: “A new map of the Republic of Texas [with] up-to-date information [including] an accurate depiction of boundaries and river systems and the latest developments in its political divisions.... Arrowsmith’s map was probably the first to show the full extent of Texas’ claim to the upper Rio Grande.... As one of the earliest maps to contain information from the General Land Office of Texas, the map located Indian tribes, major roadways, and included editorial comments for the benefit of the future traveler to Texas, such as ‘excellent land,’ ‘valuable land,’ ‘rich land,’ and ‘delightful country.’” Phillips, America, p. 843. Taliaferro, p. 15 (describing the map as one of the most noteworthy maps of Texas from 1830-1860 that contributed to Texas geography as a whole and provided “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 #451 (citing present issue) & Vol. II, pp. 173-74: “On April 17, 1841, Aaron Arrowsmith’s heirs got out in London a magnificent map of Texas.... This is a landmark for its delineation of the pioneer counties of the State, as well as for its inclusion of Le Grand’s ‘exploration’ in what is now the Panhandle and beyond.... The chief interest in the map is the showing (albeit somewhat erroneously) of the heads of the Colorado (of Texas), the Red, and the ‘Cimerone.’ It is very detailed in that area.”

            Copies of Arrowsmith’s 1841 map of Texas are also known from later years, well beyond the Republic of Texas era, but retaining basically the same conformation as in the three early issues. Tooley notes that the Arrowsmith atlas was continuously revised, appearing as late as 1920 in Edward Stanford’s London Atlas of Universal Geography. Cf. Francis Herbert’s article: “The ‘London Atlas of Universal Geography’ from John Arrowsmith to Edward Stanford: Origin, Development and Dissolution of a British World Atlas from the 1830s to the 1930s” (Imago Mundi, Vol. 41, 1989).

            Cheffins’s Map of the Republic of Texas and the Adjacent Territories, Indicating the Grants of Land Conceded under the Empresario System of Mexico (Map 3 above) is usually overlooked due to the fame of Arrowsmith’s large map of the Republic of Texas. A note at the bottom of p. 336, opposite Cheffins’s map, states: “This map, published originally by Mitchell, of Philadelphia, is very inaccurate and imperfect.” In Cheffins’s rendering, Texas is divided into land grants, and the southern border is the Nueces. In the large Arrowsmith map of Texas, the colorist has placed the southwest border of Texas at the Rio Grande. The variance in the boundaries of Texas on two different maps in the same book may be an example of utilizing a prior map to try to keep up with the changing status of Texas at a time when the rest of the world was keenly interested in developments there. Cheffins’s extremely detailed map includes locations of mines, forts, Harrisburg, Lynchburg, Bath, McNeil’s Landing, Carancaway Creek, New Washington, Droves of Wild Cattle & Horses, Mustang or Wild Horse Desert, Whaco Village, etc. Curiously, Houston and Austin are not located. Day, Maps of Texas, p. 36.

            An interesting feature of the text of Vol. I of Kennedy’s book is the “Advertisement” found at the front wherein the author comments on the large Arrowsmith map of Texas:

The complete Map of the Republic of Texas has been compiled from the best published authorities, including the maps of Stephen Austin, Mitchell (Philadelphia), and surveys made under the sanction of the Texan Government. To these is to be added Le Grand’s original survey, of the precise date of which, owing to a manuscript omission, I am not certain,-the point is trifling, but the survey must have been made in 1830 or 1831. To the zeal and skill of Mr. Arrowsmith I am materially indebted for a map which, without pretending to be absolute accuracy, is a great improvement upon all preceding ones, and will serve every practical purpose of the politician and emigrant.

Kennedy’s Texas: The Rise, Progress, and Prospects of the Republic of Texas, “on its first publication, was pronounced to be the best history of Texas extant. The Texan Congress passed a resolution of thanks to the author. Mr. Kennedy visited Texas in 1839 for historic material. His favourable report, on his return to England, doubtless prepared the way for English recognition of the Republic. The physical description of Texas in volume 1 is the best published up to that time, and the history proper is in a calm and dignified style, and is not without literary merit. No historian of Texas has more eloquent paragraphs” (Raines, p. 132). Basic Texas Books 117. Eberstadt, Texas, 162:458. Howes K92. Sabin 37440. Streeter 1385: “This is a most interesting book, for even in [Vol. I] on the geography and...history to 1836, Kennedy brings in various contemporary comments not usually found in the conventional account. All this is quite remarkable, for before the publication of his Texas Kennedy was in Texas only from sometime in April, 1839, to the end of June of that year. In 1842 he returned as British Consul at Galveston and in that year started proceedings to settle six hundred families south of the Nueces, a project never carried out.”

John Arrowsmith (1790-1873) was nephew to Aaron Arrowsmith (1750-1823), who founded the noted English cartographic dynasty and served as cartographer to the Prince of Wales and the King. John Arrowsmith’s cartographic work is appreciated for its diligence in presenting new surveys such as those used on this Texas map, as well as emerging cartographic intelligence from North America and Australia. His work is understated and elegant. For more on author William Kennedy, see DNB. The Handbook of Texas Online comments on Kennedy:

Kennedy (1799-1871), diplomat and writer, was born near Dublin, Ireland.... In 1833 he became secretary to the Earl of Durham, whom he accompanied to Canada in 1838. In 1839 Kennedy traveled in Texas and the United States to study local government in principal cities, and in 1841 he published a two-volume work, The Rise, Progress, and Prospects of Texas. In 1842 he replaced Arthur Ikin as Texas consul in London. There he protested the building of ships for the Mexican government at Liverpool. He became British consul in Galveston later the same year and served until the annexation of Texas by the United States. His correspondence with the Earl of Aberdeen and other British officials as well as with Ashbel Smith reveals much of the diplomatic, economic, and political condition of the Republic of Texas. In February 1842 Kennedy, William Pringle, and others obtained a contract to settle 600 families south of the Nueces River, but the proposed colony was never settled. ($12,000-24,000)

Sold. Hammer: $12,000.00; Price Realized: $14,100.00

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