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Working Cadastral Map of Navarro County with Copious Annotations

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572. [MAP]. GENERAL LAND OFFICE OF TEXAS. Navar[ro] Count[y] State of Tex[as] April 1888. Copyright 1888. R.M. Hall. Commissioner of the Genl. Land Office of the State of Texas. For Sale at State Land Office Austin Tex. Price 50¢. I, R.M. Hall, Commissioner of the Genl. Land Office do certify that this map is a true and correct Copy of the Map now in use in this Office. Compiled from Official Data. At bottom left in pencil “Acreage Loaning Limits” (colored key setting rates per acre for loans, ranging from $75 per acre to “Rejected”). Manuscript at lower center in ink: “E.H. Davis, Middlesex Banking Company” (based in Connecticut). Austin, early twentieth century. Photographic reproduction of printed map from 1888, mounted and sectioned on contemporary linen, with extensive manuscript annotations in various colors keying various plots of land and owners in the County. Sheet size: 82 x 105.5 cm. Creased where formerly folded, with linen stub at lower left where removed from post hole binder, made by W.W. White of Boston, Massachusetts (ink stamp). Linen slightly deteriorated at folds, but no loss to image. Quality of photographic reproduction sharp and bright. Reproduction lacks part of the title and has ragged right edge due to poor quality of the original map, which is no longer extant in the General Land Office of Texas (the Texas State Library has a copy in the James Harvey Holeman archives).

     This was a working map, apparently used to determine loan values for various tracts of land in the county, as indicated by the key. 1888 owners are shown as on the original map, but subsequent transactions are noted in manuscript, presenting the evolution of land ownership in the county. The annotations are very extensive. The earliest printed map of Navarro County in the Texas General Land Office is an 1871 map from the Maddox Collection. The printed and manuscript maps of Navarro County from the nineteenth century in the General Land Office, regrettably are in poor condition, some in shreds. This is due to the fact that people went to the Land Office as the source of accurate cartographical information and used the maps heavily for various and many purposes. They were working maps. Patrons simply went to the Land Office and obtained the services of a copyist, or, as at this later date, ordered a photographic reproduction.
     Navarro County on the Blackland Prairies of North Central Texas was organized in 1846. The county was named for José Antonio Navarro (1795-1871), Mexican champion of the cause of Texan Independence from Mexico and one of three Mexican signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence. The county seat, Corsicana, was named for Navarro’s parent’s birthplace, Corsica. Anglo-American settlement began in 1838 with Dr. George W. Hill, shortly followed by the development of Peters’ and Mercer Colonies. Prominently shown is the large land grant of Thomas J. Chambers, the infamous attorney-land speculator-surveyor, who in 1834 received the first Mexican land grant in the area that became Navarro County. ($500-800)

Sold. Hammer: $500.00; Price Realized: $600.00

Auction 22 Abstracts

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