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Description

One of the rarest and most important of maps of Texas, and a foundation map for all future Texas cartography.

Jacob de Cordova was a land developer in Texas following its annexation by the United States in 1845. De Cordova and Robert Creuzbaur, working with the General Land Office, compiled from the latest surveys on a scale larger than any prior map of Texas. First issued in 1849, the map was one of the first major cartographic productions after Texas annexation into the US to be based upon the records of the General Land Office.

De Cordova was one of the earliest Jewish settlers in Texas. During the War for Texas independence, he supplied goods from New Orleans, before settling in Galveston in 1837. He quickly took to his adopted homeland, adding several Indian dialects to the 5 languages which he spoke prior to his arrival. After serving a term in the Texas House of Representatives, De Cordova settled in Austin, where he and his brother published the Texas Herald.

Anticipating a land boom in Texas following the Mexican War, he began speculating in land and for the next 30 year, he actively promoted immigration to Texas, which included promotional tours of the United States and Europe. As part of this campaign, he produced his first map of Texas in 1849. Sam Houston persuaded Congress to purchase 500 copies of the 1849 edition, arguing with Jefferson Davis in support of the quality of the map and character of De Cordova during the appropriations process on the floor of the Senate. From 1849 to 1854, De Cordova published the map himself, before assigning the rights to J.H. Colton, who published the map from 1856 onward.

While all editions are very rare and of great importance, this 1861 edition has not appeared at auction and is not in any major institutional collection. This state of the map is revised from the early editions, adding new counties and other details. A nice example, with only very minor fold stains along a few folds. Flattened and archivally backed with thin tissue, original boards present and in fine condition, bearing the name Charles A. Booth, Captain & A.A.G. While we have not confirmed the connection, Charles A. Booth was a Lieutenant in the Montana Column, 7th Infantry, who fought at the Battle of the Little Big Horn in 1876.