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A Fascinating Pre-Louisiana Purchase Map of Texas and the Southwest

Scarce early map of Mexico, Upper California, Texas and Louisiana Territory.

The map extends on the west coast from San Francisco to Cabo San Lucas, with a detailed account of the Missions of Upper California, along with some of the settlements on the Gila and Rio Grande, extending north to Santa Fe and St. Lorenzo, but with a mythical town of Quivira shown.

Good detail in Texas, with the name Texas appearing.

An interesting time period, immediately preceding the reports of Alexander von Humboldt and Zebulon Pike, in the year prior to the Louisiana Purchase.

Aaron Arrowsmith Biography

Aaron Arrowsmith (1750-1823) was born in Durham in 1750. He came to London for work around 1770, where he found employment as a surveyor for the city’s mapmakers. By 1790, he had set up his own shop which specialized in general charts. Arrowsmith’s three shops were located on or near Soho Square, a neighborhood the led him to rub shoulders with the likes of Joseph Banks, the naturalist, and Matthew Flinders, the hydrographer. Through his business ties and employment at the HO, Arrowsmith made other important relationships with Alexander Dalrymple, the HBC, and other companies. In 1810 he became Hydrographer to the Prince of Wales and, in 1820, Hydrographer to the King. He died in 1823, whereby the business passed to his sons, Aaron and Samuel, and, later, his nephew, John.