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Rare early edition of Tallis's map of the United States, including a marvelous oversized depiction of Texas, pre-dating the format settlement of the Texas state boundary.

This map presents a fascinating case study in the borders of Texas prior to the earliest delineations of its borders made after it became part of the United States. The Texas border was in a perpetual state of flux for nearly 100 years. Several early adjustments include:

  • July 5, 1848: US Congress approves adjustment of eastern boundary from west bank of the Sabine River (including Sabine Pass and Sabine Lake) to the middle of the river.
  • Compromise of 1850: Prior to the compromise, Texas claimed a portion of New Mexico, with the present map showing Texas extending to the Rio Grande beyond Taos, New Mexico, to the Arkansas River.
  • Compromise of 1850: Prior to the compromise, the northern and northwestern boundary of Texas followed the Red River west to the 100th Meridan and then north to Arkansas River. The Compromise placed the north line of the Panhandle at 36°30", where it remained until 1858.

Unlike later editions, this early edition includes a massive Texas, incorporating part of New Mexico, extending beyond Santa Fe, Taos and Spanish Peaks, pre-dating the appearance of Western Territory and Nebraska on later editons of the map, which can be seen here: /gallery/detail/27509

This rare early edition includes a large vignette of the Capitol Building, which does not appear on later editions. Vignettes of Washington, Franklin, the Washington Monument, a Buffalo Hunt, Indians trading with settlers and two other vignettes.

Engraved for R. Montgomery Martin's Illustrated Atlas. Tallis was one of the last great decorative map makers. His maps are prized for the wonderful vignettes of indigenous scenes, people, etc. One of the best decorative mid-19th Century maps of the United States.

John Tallis Biography

John Tallis (1817-1876) was a British map publisher. Born in the Midlands, Tallis came to London in the 1840s. Tallis began his London career with a series of remarkable London street views. He began a partnership with a Frederick Tallis, possibly his brother, but their collaboration ended in 1849. For the Great Exhibition of 1851, Tallis published the Illustrated World Atlas, one of the last series of decorative world maps ever produced. The maps were engraved by John Rapkin, a skilled artisan. The maps were later reissued by the London Printing & Publishing Company, who left the Tallis imprint intact, thus ensuring his enduring fame. In 1858, he began publication of the popular Illustrated News of the World and National Portrait Gallery of Eminent Personages, selling it in 1861 (it ceased publication in 1863).