First Separate Map of Texas in an Atlas

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7.   [ATLAS]. BRADFORD, T[homas] G[amaliel]. A Comprehensive Atlas Geographical, Historical & Commercial by T.G. Bradford. William D. Ticknor, Boston. Wiley & Long, New-York...Entered according to Act of Congres in the year 1835, by Thos. G. Bradford in the Clerks office of the District Court of Massachusetts [engraved title within ornamental, pictorial border with vignettes, resting on a marble base beneath which is attribution] Drawn by E. Tisdale Landscapes by W. Croome | Eng. by J. Andrews. Boston & New York, [1835]. [1-4] 5-180 pp. (irregular pagination; many pages are engraved plates or maps included in pagination, without any indication of blank versos; text leaf 64A added to accompany the map of Texas), 79 copper-engraved plates and maps (including frontispiece and title), most maps with original outline color and border color. Small folio (32.5 x 26.5 cm), contemporary three-quarter tan sheep, professionally rebacked with new matching tan morocco spine with raised bands and title lettered in gilt, contemporary marbled end papers. Binding rubbed and corners bumped, interior fine except for scattered light foxing. Ink ownership of Hollis Nult dated 1837 (on rear endpaper). The map includes Texas, the first such published appearance in an atlas. The Bradford map is not difficult to find separately (see herein), but it is preferable to find the map in situ and with the accompanying text leaf.

Texas Map

Texas. [left margin outside neat line] 64.A;neat line to neat line: 20 x 26.4 cm; overall sheet size: 25 x 32.5 cm. Scale: 1 inch = 75 miles. First issue of the first separate map of Texas to appear in an atlas, with early issue points, including the Mustang or Wild Horse Desert shown in south Texas; the Nueces River as the southwestern boundary; land grants indicated instead of counties; and the fact that the town of Austin (founded 1839) is not yet shown. Following the map is a two-page essay in three columns entitled Texas, which gives an overview of the country and discusses Anglo colonization, referring to Stephen F. Austin as its “prime mover” and remarking that “early settlers of Texas were in general those who had been unfortunate in life.” Most of the second page of text is devoted to the problems the Texans faced and Austin’s petition to the Mexican government, followed by Martin Perfecto de Cos’ July 1835 warning against resistance to Mexican domination. The editors end with the statement: “It is needless to enter into the details of what followed, as they are fresh in the minds of all. Taliaferro, Cartographic Sources in the Rosenberg Library 248: “Locates four settlements in the vicinity of Galveston Bay: Harrisburg, Lynchburg, Liberty, and Anahuac. Evidently, not all copies of Bradford’s atlas contained this map.” Martin & Martin 31:

The map itself appeared to be copied directly from Austin’s, the only readily available authority.... The map differed from Austin’s primarily in its prominent display of numerous colonization grants and a plethora of new settlements and towns, indicative of the massive influx of colonists occurring after the publication of Austin’s work. Another significant departure from Austin was the map’s depiction of the Arkansas boundary controversy.... Aside from showing Texas as a separate state, the map [is] historically important for clearly demonstrating the demand in the U.S. for information about Texas during the Revolution and the early years of the Republic. It also serves to confirm the importance of Austin’s map as source for that information.

     The first editions of Bradford’s small atlas came out in 1835, apparently published by a consortium of publishers. These atlases enjoyed commercial success, with small format versions appearing in 1835, and a reworked large format version published in 1838. Phillips, Atlases 770. Sabin 7260. Shaw & Shoemaker 306134. Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West, Vol. II, pp. 148-149 & Entries 408, 409, 410 (citing the maps of the United States, North America, and Mexico, Guatemala, and the West Indies): “The little Bradford maps of 1835, while not important, give the general picture of the West that one would have had as a member of the public as the thirties rolled past their half-way point. Chiefly interesting is the boundary on one of the maps at 54° 40’, while on another map the southern boundary of the Oregon country ends in San Francisco Bay.”

     There was no separate map of Texas in the earliest versions of Bradford’s atlas. The other maps in the present atlas show Texas as part of Mexico: [1] United States; [2] Mexico, Guatemala, and the West Indies; [3] North America. A plate at the back entitled Modes of Travelling has an early depiction of a train. “Thomas Gamaliel Bradford (1802-1887) of Boston served as an assistant editor of the America Encyclopedia before entering the field of atlas publishing” (Ristow, American Maps and Mapmakers, p. 270). ($1,000-2,000)

Sold. Hammer: $1,700.00; Price Realized: $2,082.50.

Auction 23 Abstracts

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