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Hunt & Randel’s Large-Scale Map of Texas, Rivaling Austin & De Cordova

 “First General Guide to Texas”—Streeter


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234.     HUNT, Richard S[almon] & Jesse F. Randel. Guide to the Republic of Texas: Consisting of a Brief Outline of the History of Its Settlement: A General View of the Surface of the Country; Its Climate, Soil, Productions; Rivers, Counties, Towns, and Internal Improvements; The Colonization and Land Laws; List of Courts and Judicial Officers; Tariff and Ports of Entry &c. Accompanied by a New and Correct Map. By Richard S. Hunt and Jesse F. Randel, Houston, Texas. New York: Published by J.H. Colton, 124 Broadway, 1839. [1-3] 4-63, [1, contents], [1, Colton ad], [1, blank] pp., copper-engraved map with original hand coloring; neat line to neat line: 80.9 x 61.5 cm; overall sheet size: 81.2 x 62.1 cm: Map [five-pointed lone star] of Texas, Compiled from Surveys on Record in the General Land Office of the Republic, to the Year 1839, by Richard S. Hunt and Jesse F. Randel. New York, Published by J.H. Colton Engraved by Stiles, Sherman & Smith. New York; [copyright at lower left below neat line] Entered…January 1839, by J.H. Colton, in the Clerks Office of the District Court of the Southern District of New York; [attestation text, facsimile signatures and General Land Office seal at lower left corner] “We the undersigned have inspected the above map and give it our approval as being a compilation from the best and most recent authorities” James Webb Secy. of State. John Woodward Consul Genl. of Texas, N. York. Francis Moore Jr Editor Telegraph, Houston. Republic of Texas, General Land Office Apr. 25, 1839. I hereby certify that the compiler of this map has had access to the records of this office and that the map was compiled from them. John P. Borden Comm. Gen. Land Office; [inset map of West Texas and Mexican territory to the Pacific, Baja California, and northern Mexico at lower right corner] Map of the Rio Grande and the Country West to the Pacific (22 x 26.4 cm), folded into publisher’s original olive diced cloth covers (15 cm tall), upper cover lettered in gilt: Guide to Texas with a Map Published by J.H. Colton, 1839. Covers sympathetically re-backed (original spine preserved), text with scattered light foxing, a few minor voids at folds (no losses of text or image), map professionally laid down on archival tissue. Nineteenth-century bookplate on front pastedown, red ink rubber-stamped number on front free endpaper. Overall a fine copy, the map excellent, with fresh, intense original color, the best we have seen of this desirable Texana.

     First edition. Subsequent editions with updates were published (cf. Streeter 1348A-B, discussing various issues of the map; Sabin notes an 1846 edition). Bradford 2469: “The map, often missing, is scarce.” Clark, Old South III, p. 145. Day, Maps of Texas, pp. 28-29. Eberstadt, Texas 162:424. Graff 2017. Howes H809. Rader 1980. Raines, p. 122. Sabin 33887. Streeter 1348. Streeter Sale 368. Taliaferro, Cartographic Sources in the Rosenberg Library 278n (1845 edition). Vandale 93.

     No one says it better than Streeter:

The contents of this Guide, the first general guide to Texas, are pretty well stated in its title. It must have been a useful book for intending settlers, and its contemporary account of existing conditions makes it a valuable book now. The map is important.

Unlike several Texas maps…such as the series by Hooker first issued in 1833, by Burr in 1833, and by J.H. Young in 1835, all of which showed the colonization grants in far western Texas and were on a small scale, this shows Texas only to a little west of the 101st meridian, or less than 150 miles west of San Antonio. In this respect it follows the Austin maps, the first entered under 1830, that go only to a little west of the 102nd meridian and have the large scale of 24 miles to the inch. In the prefatory remarks to this Hunt and Randel Guide, it is stated that though the map is necessarily imperfect in some details, it is based from the coast to the San Antonio Road on existing surveys, and that the principal rivers are accurately laid down for more than 100 miles above that road. The claim is made that “this map is the only one which makes any pretentions to being based on accurate surveys.”

The 1839 map shows in colors thirty-one counties with their boundaries clearly defined, the latest being Harrison, which was organized under an act of the Third Congress dated January 28, 1839…. It shows, probably for the first time, the newly laid-out town of Austin on the north bank of the Colorado…. A German edition of the map is present in Scherpf’s Entstehungs-geschichte, Augsburg, 1841 (see Item 500 herein). The inset map is most interesting, showing as it does “Upper California” and “Lower California” from the 23d to the 42d parallels, with many place names and the Timpanogos and Buenaventura rivers running to the sea, and with the north boundary of the Mexican province of Sonora at about the 29th parallel. [Wheat does not list the inset map which extends from Texas to California and includes Lower California.]

     In the category of large-scale nineteenth-century maps of Texas, Hunt and Randel’s magnificent production, like the maps of Austin and De Cordova, had few rivals. The guidebook is a classic on its own, addressing all the needs and concerns of the prospective emigrant.

     Richard Salmon Hunt (1812-1869) came to Texas from Cairo, New York, in 1836 with his brother William Hudson Hunt (1815-1864; Handbook of Texas Online). The brothers had an interest in maps, surveys, and the law. Richard spent most of his years in Texas, either in Bastrop or Bonham. He bought Charles DeMorse’s interest in a local newspaper, the Bonham Advertiser, in 1849 but sold out after landing in hot water with the locals for supporting Sam Houston (Sibley, Lone Stars and Lone Star Gazettes: Texas Newspapers before the Civil War, p. 309). Although he was a Union man, Richard remained in Bonham during the Civil War without being maltreated. We find little on Jesse F. Randel. He sold four slaves for $4,500 (a disputed sale) and posted notice of probate for John T. Randel in Harris County in 1839. He owned property in Hood and Johnston Counties and corresponded with Memucan Hunt in 1846. There is a reference to Colonel Cooke’s military road expedition from the Red River border through present-day Dallas and Waco to Austin in Stephen F. Moore’s Savage Frontier, 1840-1841 (University of North Texas Press, 2007, Vol. III, p. 171): “Mr. Hunt, the military road engineer, worked with a man named Randel to create a map of the Cross Timbers. The Telegraph on January 16 gave a definition of the Cross Timbers area, based on Hunt’s surveys.”

     The map is noteworthy for having been offered as evidence in a U.S. Supreme Court case (U.S. vs. Texas, 162 U.S. 1, United States vs. State of Texas, March 16, 1896), where it is cited, along with the maps of Stephen F. Austin, Disturnell, Pressler, et al., in the controversy over whether Texas was entitled to Greer County.


Sold. Hammer: $44,000.00; Price Realized: $52,800.00

Auction 22 Abstracts

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