Exceptionally Rare Oversize Wall Map of Galveston in 1876

The Preferred Issue, with Illustrated Ads Surrounding Map

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385. [MAP]. WASHINGTON, T.A. (civil engineer), Cha[rle]s F. White (real estate agent) & Strickland, M[iles] (map publisher). Map of Galveston & Vicinity, compiled by T.A. Washington & Chas. F. White from Actual Surveys and Soundings, and Arrangement of Wards under the Charter of 1876. M. Strickland, Map Publisher, 109 Strand, Galveston, Texas. [upper left of map] References...Churches...Cemeteries...Public Squares...Hotels...Hospitals...Cotton Presses...Banks & Bankers...Railroads...; [lower left] Remarks. Bath Avenue and Streets Parallel Thereto...; [below Remarks table showing elevations and streets] Surface Elevations.... [below Surface Elevations table, untitled map of Galveston Bay area]; [lower center, untitled plat showing layout of city plots]; surrounding entire map are 69 advertisements for local merchants (11 of which are illustrations of mercantile architecture). Galveston, 1876. Lithograph map printed on two joined sheets with original hand coloring, mounted on original cartographical linen attached to brown wooden rollers, original varnish; line border of map proper: 109 x 69 cm; neat line to neat line: 127.5 cm x 86.8 cm; overall sheet size: 129 x 90 cm. Varnish moderately darkened on right side, edges chipped (with slightly losses on right side mainly affecting neat line but also slightly affecting small portions of map), lower portion 10 cm of map chipped with some loss of text and images (due to contact with lower wooden roller), remains of original selvedge. Overall a decent copy of a fragile, rare survival. No copies located by OCLC, but Rosenberg Library has a copy of this issue with entire lower pictorial border trimmed away. The University of Texas at Austin also has a copy of the version without the surrounding ads.

     First edition, best issue, with the surrounding illustrative ads documenting architecture and business history. Taliaferro, Cartographic Sources in the Rosenberg Library 356A. According to Taliaferro there are three issues, the first of which matches our copy, with the surrounding advertisements. Taliaferro’s second issue (356B) is smaller in size (ads not present, map proper commensurate with dimension of map without ads). Taliaferro’s third issue (356C), same as his second issue but folded into cloth pocket covers. A copy of the third issue in pocket folders and without surrounding ads sold at the TSHA benefit auction conducted by Heritage in 2006 (Sale 644, Lot 1064, price realized $16,500). Taliaferro remarks in general on the map:

Washington & White’s map is the first to record the devastation of the eastern tip of the island by the 1875 hurricane. Fort Point appears as fragmented islets, separated from the island by a large channel. The old fort is gone, but the quarantine station remains. The map also shows the “Gabion Jetty,” a novel, submerged breakwater made out of woven reeds. Begun in 1874 and finished in 1877, this jetty system was a complete failure.... Due to natural tidal action, however, the channel connecting the harbor with the Gulf is now deeper than in 1867. Pelican Spit is more compact and closer to Pelican Island. The long breakwater has been completely swept away. The gulf shore also seems to have receded slightly since 1869.

The map shows eight wharves and extensive landfill added in the wharf area during the 1870s. Outlots have now been divided into regular city blocks as far west as Forty-third Street, and all the inland waterways, except McKinney’s Bayou, filled in. The city is divided into twelve wards, in accordance with the charter of 1876.

     The map shows a prosperous, thriving Galveston, unlike many Southern cities following the Civil War. This was due to several factors, including Galveston being the state’s main port of entry for commerce, immigration, and King Cotton (seven cotton presses are noted in the list of References on the left side of the map). Despite the devastating hurricane of 1875, the city is shown here in its phase of rebuilding, modernization, addressing the problems of erosion and rapid shoaling across the harbor entrance. Speaking of Galveston maps in general in the introduction (p. 19) to his excellent book, Taliaferro remarks: “It is the ephemeral quality of the city and its environs in the face of ongoing natural events that makes the study of old maps of Galveston especially rewarding for insight into the important currents of the city’s history.”

     Miles Strickland (d. 1882) was active in the 1870s and early 1880s, assisting with the creation of directories, maps, and prints. Strickland is thought to have been among the early lithographers in Texas, preceded only by Wilhelm Carl August Thielepape. Strickland sold his interest in his firm to Clarke & Courts, which closed in 1989. Engineer T.A. Washington served as Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General in the Confederate Army under General Earl Van Dorn, assisting with the construction of buildings of manufacture for the Confederates in Galveston. After the war, T.A. Washington was active in the development Galveston and city affairs, serving as engineer and superintendent of streets and vice. Charles F. White served as a tax assessor for Galveston in the 1880s.


Sold. Hammer: $7,500.00; Price Realized: $9,187.50.

Auction 23 Abstracts


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