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“WE GOT HERE AS SOON AS WE COULD”
MAPS, GEOPOLITICS AND THE ROOTS OF TEXAS
1650-1900

'This is one of my best map catalogs ever that focus on the fundamental maps of American History with a focus on the American Southwest and Texas.  It is so good that only 5 institutions in the world have collections that rival it.  And no private collector has a corpus this fine. '

Graham Arader

View the Roots of Texas Collection


1650 to 1900: Two and one half centuries of unrelenting competition and conflict. The prize? Political and economic domination of North America. The principal players were England, France, Spain, their colonial subjects, and the indigenous peoples who preceded them on the continent.  The result shaped the world we live in today.

Most of the 250 year struggle to dominate North America was fought over territory the European protagonists had never even seen.  This made the era’s conflicts uniquely influenced by its cartography. If mapmaking is a political act, it is doubly so when applied to previously unmarked territory.  A selection of key maps from 1650 to 1900 show how the choices made by each particular mapmaker influenced the issues of the day.

For over a century, Texas's role in this struggle was as a buffer, protecting Spain’s interests in Mexico from British, French and American expansion.  Rugged and distant, it did not lend itself to easy exploration or colonization.  But its isolation could not last.  Once the European powers were ejected from the continent and the great American experiment spread across the west, people began to flow into the region.  They came from all parts of the continent, and from overseas, to build a culture that was uniquely Texan.

As Texans they won independence from Mexico, itself not long independent from Spain.  After ten years, the Republic of Texas became the casus belli for an aggressive young nation convinced that its “manifest destiny” was to spread from shore to shore. When the union fractured and war broke out, the State of Texas seceded and with its confederates suffered the consequences of defeat.  But with the coming of the railroads, its vast spaces were tamed, it was linked more closely both east and west, and its people enjoyed a boom that changed the face of Texas.

There is no better way to tell this story than through maps, drawn and used by the people who participated in these great events. Each one is important in its own right. As a group, they are a brilliant record of an era that formed the world as we know it.

BLOME, Richard (1635-1705) A New Mapp of America Septentrionale
The rare English version of Sanson’s foundational map of North America, with Texas and the mythical City of Olivera ringed with mountains.
BLOME, Richard (1635-1705) A New Mapp of America Septentrionale
$ 5,800.00
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DE L’ISLE, Guillaume (1675-1726) Carte du Canada ou de la Nouvelle France et des Descouveres qui y ont ete faits...1703
The definitive map of Canada and the French empire in North America near the end of the reign of Louis XIV. Peace was made between the French and the Iroquois two years earlier, expanding French influence throughout the continent and increasing competition with the British.
DE L’ISLE, Guillaume (1675-1726) Carte du Canada ou de la Nouvelle France et des Descouveres qui y ont ete faits...1703
$ 2,800.00
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DE L’ISLE, Guillaume (1675-1726)  Carte du Mexique et de la Floride des Terrest Angloises et des Isles Antilles du Cours et des Environes la Riviere de Mississipi….1703
Rare first edition, first issue of the first map showing the discoveries of La Salle, Jolliet and Marquette and other Jesuit explorers down the Mississippi. An influential rendering of the Rio Grande River, marks the western border of “La Floride” as a French possession.
DE L’ISLE, Guillaume (1675-1726) Carte du Mexique et de la Floride des Terrest Angloises et des Isles Antilles du Cours et des Environes la Riviere de Mississipi….1703
$ 12,000.00
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DE FER, Nicolas (1646-1720) Partie Meridionale de la Riviere de Missipi, et ses environs,...1718
One of the first uses of a map to stimulate investment, in this case via John Law’s French “Company of the West” and the money making potential of Louisiana. The 1715 state of this map predated De L’Isle’s famous map of 1718, but did not have the same political impact.
DE FER, Nicolas (1646-1720) Partie Meridionale de la Riviere de Missipi, et ses environs,...1718
$ 18,000.00
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DE L’ISLE, Guillaume (1675-1726)  Carte du Louisiane et du Cours odu Mississippi Dressee sur un grand nombre de Moemoires entrautres ... 1718
The first published map to name “Tejas,” and the first to accurately place the Missouri River, this map challenged Britain’s claims in North America and ultimately led to war. One of the most influential maps in American history.
DE L’ISLE, Guillaume (1675-1726) Carte du Louisiane et du Cours odu Mississippi Dressee sur un grand nombre de Moemoires entrautres ... 1718
$ 28,000.00
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CHATELAIN, Henri Abraham (1684-1743)  Carte tres Curieuse de la Mer du sud…1719
The most decorative map of the Americas published in the 18th century. A masterpiece of the visual arts, its remarkable vignettes confirm the power of commerce and the pursuit of wealth in a time of political upheaval.
CHATELAIN, Henri Abraham (1684-1743) Carte tres Curieuse de la Mer du sud…1719
$ 32,000.00
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LA HARPE, Jean-Baptiste Benard de (1683-1775)  Carte nouvelle de la partie de l'Ouest de la Louisanne faitte sur  les observations, recherches, et decouivertes de ...1722
While mapmakers in Europe were drawing lines in the wilderness that led to war, La Harpe was actually on the ground, exploring and seeking converts. From the collection of Seymour Schwartz, this is the most important manuscript map of the American Southwest to come on the market. Superior to the single other known example, which is in the Library of Congress.
LA HARPE, Jean-Baptiste Benard de (1683-1775) Carte nouvelle de la partie de l'Ouest de la Louisanne faitte sur les observations, recherches, et decouivertes de ...1722
$ 1,400,000.00
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MITCHELL, John (1711-1768)  A Map of the British and French Dominions in North America…1755
“Undoubtedly the most important map in American history…” according to the past Director of the Library of Congress Map Division. It was an important tool for rulers, diplomats and soldiers from its first publication in 1755 until well into the 19th century. It was also a map that influenced western migration for generations. A superb example with full original color.
MITCHELL, John (1711-1768) A Map of the British and French Dominions in North America…1755
$ 275,000.00
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LE ROUGE, George Louis de (1707-c. 1790), after John Mitchell (1711-1768)  Amerique Septentrionale avec les routes distances en miles villages et establissments francois et anglais...1756
Ironically, the controlling French admirals and generals used this map, printed in Paris and derived from Mitchell’s 1755 map, to plot with Franklin and the other American revolutionaries to avenge French losses in the French and Indian War. Its publication in 1756 was proof that antagonists continued intellectual and commercial exchanges despite their being at war.
LE ROUGE, George Louis de (1707-c. 1790), after John Mitchell (1711-1768) Amerique Septentrionale avec les routes distances en miles villages et establissments francois et anglais...1756
$ 16,000.00
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RATZER, BERNARD ( fl. 1756-1777)  Plan‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌City‌ ‌of‌ ‌New‌ ‌York‌ ‌in‌ ‌North‌ ‌America,‌ ‌surveyed‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌years‌ ‌1766‌ ‌&‌ ‌1767.‌
When revolution came to North America, the British needed superior maps of the seats of war. None were better than Ratzer’s masterpiece of engineering, rococo design and topographical detail. The most important map of New York published in the 18th century.
RATZER, BERNARD ( fl. 1756-1777) Plan‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌City‌ ‌of‌ ‌New‌ ‌York‌ ‌in‌ ‌North‌ ‌America,‌ ‌surveyed‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌years‌ ‌1766‌ ‌&‌ ‌1767.‌
$ 290,000.00
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ARROWSMITH, Aaron (1750-1823)  A Map of the United States of North America. 1796
The first map published in England to recognize and name the “United States.” Arrowsmith was Britain’s pre-eminent wall map publisher, and this superb example has the finest original color we have ever seen come on the market. Completely original and unrestored.
ARROWSMITH, Aaron (1750-1823) A Map of the United States of North America. 1796
$ 38,000.00
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ANONYMOUS (Spanish?) Plano de una parte de la Prov.a de la Luisiana; ... 1803
A beautiful and mysterious work depicting the struggle to achieve a boundary between Spanish Texas and the United States’ newly acquired Louisiana. It graces the cover of “Colonial Mississippi - A Borrowed Land” recently published by the University Press of Mississippi.
ANONYMOUS (Spanish?) Plano de una parte de la Prov.a de la Luisiana; ... 1803
$ 250,000.00
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LAFON, Barthelemy (1769-1820)  Carte Generale du Territoire D'Orléans ... 1806
The western boundary of “Louisiana” was famously ambiguous, but no one had a good map of the eastern part either until La Fon’s magnificent foundational survey. The detail he captured of this most important border region was surpassed only by the difficulty of the terrain. The most important map of Louisiana ever to come on the market, one of only four known examples.
LAFON, Barthelemy (1769-1820) Carte Generale du Territoire D'Orléans ... 1806
$ 300,000.00
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ROBINSON, John Hamilton (1782-1819)  A Map of Mexico, Louisiana and the Missouri Territory...1819
Soldier, doctor, explorer, diplomat, spy, revolutionary and mapmaker: John Hamilton Robinson epitomized the adventurers of his age. One of only 7 known examples known, this map came from the collections of the Library of Congress, sold by them to Thomas Winthrop Streeter as a duplicate. Three were deposited with the Library to establish Robinson’s copyright
ROBINSON, John Hamilton (1782-1819) A Map of Mexico, Louisiana and the Missouri Territory...1819
$ 750,000.00
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MELISH, John (1771-1822) Map of the United States with the contiguous British and Spanish Possessions...1820
The second most important map in American history, juxtaposing for the first time the discoveries of Lewis and Clark, Zebulon Pike, Thomas Long, Thomas Nuttal and Andrew Ellicott. The first and most famous cartographic expression of “manifest destiny,” the map was a tempting invitation to Texas and a threat to Mexico. One of the most studied maps in America; research is available on request.
MELISH, John (1771-1822) Map of the United States with the contiguous British and Spanish Possessions...1820
$ 125,000.00
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BRADLEY, Abraham (1767-1838)  Map of the United States : intended chiefly to exhibit the post roads & distances. 1825
A key map showing postal routes throughout the United States in 1825, when the only contact most citizens had with the federal government was the mail. The uniquely American universal mail system helped unify a growing country. The map also shows how Thomas Jefferson’s (and Thomas Hutchins’) township survey system expanded federal influence across the Mississippi, preparing western lands for sale, occupation and statehood.
BRADLEY, Abraham (1767-1838) Map of the United States : intended chiefly to exhibit the post roads & distances. 1825
$ 75,000.00
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WHITE, GALLAHER & WHITE  Mapa de los Estados Unidos de Méjico. 1828
White, Gallagher and White’s unauthorized rendering of Henry Tanner’s 1828 popular but inaccurate map of Mexico. White, Gallagher and White’s plates were acquired and used by Disturnell for his “Treaty Map”, thereby making Tanner’s errors part of International Law. A rare completely unrestored example on rollers with magnificent color.
WHITE, GALLAHER & WHITE Mapa de los Estados Unidos de Méjico. 1828
$ 90,000.00
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TANNER, Henry S. (1786-1858) A Map of the United States of Mexico...1846
Tanner’s 1828 map was the foundation of the “Treaty Series.” His 1846 update still didn’t correctly locate the Rio Grande or El Paso, but he did give Texas every bit of land claimed by the Republic, including Santa Fe. A key map of the American southwest by one of the two leading mapmakers in the nation, and a very fine example.
TANNER, Henry S. (1786-1858) A Map of the United States of Mexico...1846
$ 18,000.00
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DISTURNELL, John (1801-1877)  Mapa de lose Estados Unidos de Méjico...1846
The third most important map in American history. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo gave the United States almost half of Mexico, including Texas and California. It referred specifically to Disturnell’s map to define the border between the US and Mexico. But following the map literally would have given Mexico the best location for a railroad route to the Pacific, so Mexican/US boundary issues remained unresolved for years after peace was achieved.
DISTURNELL, John (1801-1877) Mapa de lose Estados Unidos de Méjico...1846
$ 125,000.00
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WYLD, James Sr. (1790-1836).  Mexico the British Possessions in North America and the United States … 1846.
A superbly detailed large scale English map of North America at the onset of the Mexican American war. England’s position favored Mexico, in part because it was an ally but mostly because English mills needed Texan cotton to compete with American supplies.
WYLD, James Sr. (1790-1836). Mexico the British Possessions in North America and the United States … 1846.
$ 28,000.00
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MITCHELL, Samuel Augustus (1790-1868)  A New Map of Texas, Oregon and California with Regions Adjoining…1846
Mitchell’s map and guide book were popular among emigrants; in many cases it was likely the only map they brought with them as they made the arduous trip west.
MITCHELL, Samuel Augustus (1790-1868) A New Map of Texas, Oregon and California with Regions Adjoining…1846
$ 12,000.00
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DE CORDOVA, Jacob (1808-1868  J. De Cordova's State of Texas....1856
The First “official” map of Texas was not exactly official, but as intended it did encourage immigration into the state. It was also a great step forward in accuracy and detail. After De Cordova sold the rights to the map to the Colton company, the map ‘s cartography served as the basis for updated maps for the next quarter century.
DE CORDOVA, Jacob (1808-1868 J. De Cordova's State of Texas....1856
$ 75,000.00
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United States General Land Office (Theodore Franks, Draftsman)  Map of the United States and Territories. 1866
The Federal Government’s survey and township system expanded through much of the west, to the benefit of veterans, land speculators and settlers. The government’s express policy of purchasing lands from the Native Americans to extinguish their claims is also reflected in the reduced territory allocated to the remaining tribes. Texas did not participate in the township system, since it already had its own organizing system based on Spanish land grants.
United States General Land Office (Theodore Franks, Draftsman) Map of the United States and Territories. 1866
$ 4,800.00
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BRADY, William H. (fl. 1871) and Cushing, Edward H. (1829-1879)  Map of Texas to accompany Brady’s “Glimpses of Texas: Its Divisions, Resources, Development and Prospects” 1871
A little known promoter and an unapologetic states rights publisher joined forces in 1871 to promote Texas, especially the rapidly growing city of Houston.
BRADY, William H. (fl. 1871) and Cushing, Edward H. (1829-1879) Map of Texas to accompany Brady’s “Glimpses of Texas: Its Divisions, Resources, Development and Prospects” 1871
$ 0.00
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ROESSLER, Anton (1826-1893)  The Latest Map of the State of Texas...1874
In 1874 Roessler wrote: "Texas is, or will be, the wealthiest state in the Union, possessing as she does great agricultural capabilities, all the varieties of soils, minerals and useful rocks known to exist in the world." His extraordinarily detailed large scale map was designed to demonstrate the truth of his declaration. After De Cordova’s map, perhaps the most attractive map of the State of Texas.
ROESSLER, Anton (1826-1893) The Latest Map of the State of Texas...1874
$ 65,000.00
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G.W. & C.B. COLTON AND CO.  New Map of the State of Texas as it is in 1875.
Colton’s map for a history textbook compared Tejas under Mexican rule in 1835 with a rapidly expanding state. The counties are shown as they existed about 1869.
G.W. & C.B. COLTON AND CO. New Map of the State of Texas as it is in 1875.
$ 6,800.00
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COLTON, ROESSLER & PRESSLER. Colton's New Map of the State of Texas The Indian Territory... 1882
The last cartographic descendent of De Cordovo’s 1856 map, displaying in graphic form the state’s explosive growth in population, transportation, and political subdivisions in the ensuing 26 years. Among the first truly “modern” maps of Texas.
COLTON, ROESSLER & PRESSLER. Colton's New Map of the State of Texas The Indian Territory... 1882
$ 9,000.00
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