A Cartographic Journey, 1561–1860
132 pages, 12.00 x 14.00 in, 39 color illus., 19 b&w illus.
- Published: October 2019
3,822 perimeter miles. 11,247 rivers and streams. 8,749 feet at its height. 268,596 square miles in total. Texas is big. Julius Caesar once quipped that all of ancient Gaul could be divided up into three parts. Texas resists such easy division.
Mapping Texas, edited by John S. Wilson, presents an array of early maps, dating from 1561 to 1860. The volume features selections from the extensive material housed in the Frances C. Poage Map Room of The Texas Collection at Baylor University. The painstaking labors of Spanish, French, English, and Mexican mapmakers illustrate the progressive and differing views of Texas geography and boundaries. Originally used as guides to new destinations, these maps also staked new claims, fueled by new dreams, on new territory that settlers had heard about but never seen.
Page by page, Texas’ iconic shape gradually emerges. As now-familiar cities dot this vast expanse of land, railroads trace the outline of rivers and mountain ranges, and ports anchor the curve of the Gulf of Mexico, Texas’ rich history comes to life one map at a time. The volume concludes with an analysis of map art and cartouches—beautiful images that both name the map and highlight flora and fauna.
A sumptuous delight for mind and eye, this volume lavishly documents the early outlines of the land over which six flags have proudly flown.
Mapping Texas is at once a unique cartographic compilation of significant scholarly value that will endure for generations and a dynamic reflection of one man’s historical vision for his beloved alma mater and native state. This work draws from the decades of research and collection that ensued, and it is a worthy representation of a dynamic, multigenerational endeavor to preserve a monumental cartographic record of Texas that speaks to various eras of exploration and geographical studies as they played out against backdrops of evolving documentation and art. This is a present to be celebrated by all who value the rich continuum of Texas history.~Dan K. Utley, Chief Historian, Center for Texas Public History, Texas State University
Mapping Texas is a beautifully illustrated volume that highlights the cartographic treasures in the Poage Map Room within The Texas Collection at Baylor University. The selected maps and cartouches are presented in color and consist of many of the most significant Texas maps from 1561 to 1860. With limited works available on Texas cartography, collectors and historians will benefit from the detailed maps and artistry.~John W. Crain, Chairman, Summerlee Foundation