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Stock# 94046

With the Large Arrowsmith Map of Texas

"...the most comprehensive account of Texas published during its decade as an independent nation"

Second edition, after the first edition of 1841, with the important Arrowsmith map of Texas, dated April 17, 1841, as in the first printing of the book (though some copies of the first edition were apparently not issued with the map). A key Texas book, one of the most important for the Texas Republic era, and a lasting sourcebook for historians. Kennedy had access to M. B. Lamar's private papers, which explains how the writer was able to produce such a comprehensive account, imbued with what Eugene C. Barker described as "real historical spirit," after such a relative brief stay in Texas, from April to June, 1839.

The large map of Texas by John Arrowsmith, present here with nice original outline color, is a landmark of Texas cartography and stands as one of the best maps of Texas as a republic. Kennedy's full-page "Advertisement" concerning the map states that it was compiled from the maps of Stephen Austin, Mitchell, surveys under the sanction of the Texas government, as well as Le Grand's survey. According to Jenkins the map was included in only a portion of copies of the original edition.

Carl Wheat is effusive in his praise of the Arrowsmith Texas, hailing it as:

....a landmark for its delineation of the pioneer counties of the State, as well as for its inclusion of Le Grand's "exploration" in what is now the panhandle and beyond. In fact, the western boundary on this map is the Rio Grande all the way to its source where a line connects with the source of the Arkansas (shown on an insert). The map shows the lands of the various tribes of Indians north of the Red and south of the Arkansas, outside of Texas, the line joining the two Rivers passing up the 100th meridian.

In addition to the Arrowsmith map, the two single-page maps, one of Matagorda Bay, the other of Aranzas Bay, are present in beautiful condition. The folding map of the Republic of Texas, "indicating the Empressario System," is also notable and present.

William Kennedy was appointed by the Texas government to replace Arthur Ikin as Texan consul. In 1842 he became British Consul at Galveston. His book includes a narrative of a tour of the United States and Texas in 1838-1839. Then follows an extensive geography, topography and natural history of Texas, following by the author's history of Texas and commentary on events of the day. The book also includes extensive appendices of public documents, including the first printing in England of both the Texas Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the Republic of Texas. In fact the book had a large impact in England, Kennedy also included John C. Beales's account of his settlement of Dolores, near the Rio Grande, in 1833-1836.

Jenkins styles Kennedy's book as "the most comprehensive account of Texas published during its decade as an independent nation, and a work of such profound influence that it was a key factor in gaining English recognition of Texas independence...."

This is a most interesting book, for even in Book I on the geography and so on of Texas, and in Book II on history to 1836, Kennedy brings in various contemporary comments not usually found in the conventional account, and in Book III there is much in the way of contemporary articles and observations of others. All this is quite remarkable, for before the publication of his Texas Kennedy was in Texas only from sometime in April, 1839, to the end of June of that year - Streeter.


H.T. Fletcher, stamped signature on front free endpaper of each volume and in lower margin of page 100, 200, and 300, in each volume, and on page 400 and 500 in volume II. Fletcher was the first president of the West Texas Historical and Scientific Society, elected February 1926.

Robert Sawers, with his armorial bookplate in each volume.


It is increasingly difficult to find nice examples of Kennedy's Texas, complete with all the maps.

Condition Description
Octavo. Two volumes. Contemporary full polished calf, raised bands, red leather title labels, recent black volume labels in matching style. Extremities of binding rather worn and rubbed, especially corners; hinges cracked in vol. 1, but holding firm. Withal, a solid, very good set. Uniform age-toning to leaves, otherwise text blocks are near fine. All four maps are present. Short closed mended tear to the large map where it connects to the text block. Map of the Republic of Texas has a mended separation at one of the folds. lii, 378; vi, [1], 548 pages. plus 4 maps (2 folding). Complete.
Graff 2308. Howes K92. Jenkins, Basic Texas Books 117. Sabin 37440. Streeter Texas 1385A. Wheat, Transmississippi West 451.
John Arrowsmith Biography

The Arrowsmiths were a cartographic dynasty which operated from the late-eighteenth century to the mid-nineteenth. The family business was founded by Aaron Arrowsmith (1750-1823), who was renowned for carefully prepared and meticulously updated maps, globes, and charts. He created many maps that covered multiple sheets and which were massive in total size. His spare yet exacting style was recognized around the world and mapmakers from other countries, especially the young country of the United States, sought his maps and charts as exemplars for their own work.

Aaron Arrowsmith was born in County 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 had five premises in his career, most of which 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 Hydrographic Office, Arrowsmith made other important relationships with Alexander Dalrymple, the Hudson’s Bay Company, and others entities. In 1810 he became Hydrographer to the Prince of Wales and, in 1820, Hydrographer to the King.

Aaron Arrowsmith died in 1823, whereby the business and title of Hydrographer to the King passed to his sons, Aaron and Samuel, and, later, his nephew, John. Aaron Jr. (1802-1854) was a founder member of the Royal Geographical Society (RGS) and left the family business in 1832; instead, he enrolled at Oxford to study to become a minister. Samuel (1805-1839) joined Aaron as a partner in the business and they traded together until Aaron left for the ministry. Samuel died at age 34 in 1839; his brother presided over his funeral. The remaining stock and copper plates were bought at auction by John Arrowsmith, their cousin.

John (1790-1873) operated his own independent business after his uncle, Aaron Arrowsmith Sr., died. After 1839, John moved into the Soho premises of his uncle and cousins. John enjoyed considerable recognition in the geography and exploration community. Like Aaron Jr., John was a founder member of the RGS and would serve as its unofficial cartographer for 43 years. Several geographical features in Australia and Canada are named after him. He carried the title Hydrographer to Queen Victoria. He died in 1873 and the majority of his stock was eventually bought by Edward Stanford, who co-founded Stanford’s map shop, which is still open in Covent Garden, London today.

Charles Frederick Cheffins Biography

Charles Frederick Cheffins  was a British mechanical draughtsman, cartographer, consulting engineer, assistant to John Ericsson and George Stephenson, and surveyor for many British railroad companies in the mid-19th century. He is also known for the 1850 Cheffins' Map of English & Scotch Railways and other maps.

Upon completion of his education, he started working at Messrs. Newton and Son, patent agents and mechanical draughtsmen. 

From 1830 he found work under Captain John Ericsson, to assist in making the drawings for the locomotive engines. The next year he became assistant to George Stephenson, and worked in the preparation of the plans and sections of the projected Grand Junction Railway.  

On the completion of the parliamentary submissions for the Grand Junction Railway, between 1832 and 1833, he set up his own cartographical and drawing business, and spent over two decades working as surveyor for numerous railroad construction projects in the United Kingdom. In 1838, he published his first Map of the Grand Junction Railway and Adjacent Country; and the next year Cheffins's Official Map of the Railway from London to Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool under sanction of the directors.

 In 1846, Cheffins commissioned John Cooke Bourne to produce his History of the Great Western Railway. Occasionally Cheffins also published lithographical work by others. In the year 1848 he had been elected an Associate of the Institution of Civil Engineers, and continued to take interest in all the proceedings.

His work on a map of the Republic of Texas was probably commissioned directly by Willima Kennedy for his book, Texas: The Rise, Progress, and Prospects of the Republic of Texas, published in London in 1841.