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A Texas Rarity

Fine large separately published map of Texas, published by GW & CB Colton in 1884.

The map provides a detailed treatment of Texas, Indian Territory, and New Mexico, the latter two of which have now been extensively surveyed and laid out into Townships. No part of Texas has been so surveyed. The map is hand colored by counties in Texas, showing towns, railroads, roads, rivers and other important topographical features. The strip of Public Land above Texas is still not yet attached to Indian Territory.

The map is a revised and enlarged version of the first "New Medium" map of Texas, which was first issued circa 1872. The earlier edition did not include Indian Territory, and had inset maps of the Northern Panhandle, Matagorda Bay, Sabine Lake and Galveston Bay. It had been replaced, in this enlarged and revised edition, with a Population Table for the State of Texas, dated June 1,1880, showing the population of each of the Counties in Texas. A separate table addresses the more sparsely populated regions of Northwestern Texas.

While the earlier / smaller edition of the map appears on the market occasionally, this enlarged version would appear to be quite scarce. We note only a single copy at auction and no copies in dealer catalogs going back 30 years.

G.W. & C.B. Colton Biography

G. W. & C. B. Colton was a prominent family firm of mapmakers who were leaders in the American map trade in the nineteenth century. The business was founded by Joseph Hutchins Colton (1800-1893) who bought copyrights to existing maps and oversaw their production. By the 1850s, their output had expanded to include original maps, guidebooks, atlases, and railroad maps. Joseph was succeeded by his sons, George Woolworth (1827-1901) and Charles B. Colton (1831-1916). The firm was renamed G. W. & C. B. Colton as a result. George is thought responsible for their best-known work, the General Atlas, originally published under that title in 1857. In 1898, the brothers merged their business and the firm became Colton, Ohman, & Co., which operated until 1901, when August R. Ohman took on the business alone and dropped the Colton name.