CONSIDERANT, Victor (1808-1893). Au Texas. Brussels: Société de Colonisation and Paris: Librairie Phalanstérienne, 1855.

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CONSIDERANT, Victor (1808-1893). Au Texas. Brussels: Société de Colonisation and Paris: Librairie Phalanstérienne, 1855.


12mo., (7 ½ x 5 ¼ inches). Fine folding lithographed map of Texas after J. H. Colton (1800-1893) (short tear repaired on verso), folding table. Modern marbled paper over boards with black morocco lettering piece on spine, original publisher's yellow paper wrappers bound in.

Second edition (first published the previous year). This account of the renowned French Socialist philosopher's sojourn in Texas led directly to his founding of the short-lived commune near Dallas called La Réunion, active in the years 1855-57. A disciple of Charles Fourier, Considerant edited the journals La Phalange and La Phalanstère. After a failed insurrection against Louis Napoleon, he was forced to go into exile in Belgium in 1849. Albert Brisbane, the American utopian socialist who founded several phalanx communes throughout the United States, invited Considerant to Texas, where he collaborated with Jean-Baptiste Godin to found La Réunion.

The very nice map of Texas is after J. H. Colton. Between 1831 and 1890, the Colton firm dominated American map publishing, and their atlases were the finest produced in the U.S. during the nineteenth century. The company was founded by Joseph Hutchins Colton (1800-1893), who had no formal training in geography or cartography; he began by purchasing copyrights of maps prepared by other individuals or companies, and his principal role was to manage the production and distribution of the maps. His first maps were drawn by the esteemed cartographer David H. Burr in the 1830s. By the 1850s Colton was also publishing guidebooks, atlases and immigrant and railroad maps. The firm was renamed G.W. & C.B. Colton in the 1860s when Colton was succeeded by his sons, George Woolworth Colton (1827-1901) and Charles B. Colton (c. 1831-1916). It is believed that George Colton compiled the company's 1855 'Atlas of the World' and served thereafter as the firm's principal map compiler, cartographer and engraver. The Colton firm refused to compromise quality, choosing to compete for sales in the more expensive international market rather than the cheap domestic one. For this reason, all maps were printed with steel plates, rather than as wax engravings, which was the most common method used at the time.