Sign In

- Or use -
Forgot Password Create Account

An Early Texas Rarity

Very rare 1852 edition of this large, hand-colored engraved map of Texas.

The map shows a plethora of development east and south of San Antonio, Austin, and the Cross Timbers. There is no meaningful development west of this line. This is one of the earliest large-format maps of Texas to show Dallas, with only the De Cordova being earlier. The inset map in the lower right corner is titled: "Map of New Mexico California and Utah." New Mexico is in its large configuration with a pre-Gadsden border with Mexico and stretching all the way to eastern California. Utah is Deseret-era, though that name is not mentioned.  West Texas is shown in the inset, though not in great detail; only Presidio County and "Comanches" are mentioned.

The map was engraved by John Calvin Smith and George E. Sherman in New York, and copyrighted 1851. In this edition of one year later, the title date has been changed but no other amendments to the plate have been found.

The map is similar to De Cordova's large map, but a simple glance at the topography confirms that they do not share a common source.  Both maps were issued in the post-statehood boom in Texas map publishing, with the Eppinger & Baker representing an attempt to chip away at the De Cordova market share. The latter had been available in New York since late 1848, however, and the Eppinger & Baker - based on its modern rarity - never made much of a dent in the De Cordova's dominance.

The topography of the map is retrograde, containing, for instance, no meaningful representation of the Hill Country. The De Cordova and Roemer are far superior in this respect.

Some of the major battles from the Texas Revolution are noted, including San Jacinto and the Battle of Coleto ("Fannins Battle").


Henry Taliaferro, in Cartographic Sources at the Rosenberg Library (304, photostat only) elaborates on the rarity of the 1852 edition:

Following the format established by Stephen F. Austin's map of 1830, this map shows Texas east of approximately the 101st meridian. West Texas appears on a reduced scale in the inset. The 1852 issue is evidently quite rare. It is not listed
in Phillips, or Graff, and is not in Day (except in photostat). Phillips (America, p. 44) lists only the 1851.

We are aware of a single institutional example, at the University of Texas at Arlington (Special Collections, 131/- 00585: original wash color.)

Taliaferro (304, photostat); Day (Photostat); not in Phillips nor Graff.