The maps range from the earliest sixteenth-century maps of New Spain to early settlement, the republic and statehood, and into the twenty-first century. These objects are not only historical documents but also served to promote settlement or another aspect of Texas, to chart transport lines, and for the military. The earliest maps demonstrate cartography as an art that only centuries later evolved into a science.
The accompanying essays cover the Spanish exploration, the Louisiana Purchase and the Texas borderlands, empresario settlement, the Republic of Texas, the Trans-Pecos, statehood and the Confederacy, the end of the nineteenth century, the Mexican wars, and Texas in the twentieth century. They provide the historical context in which the maps should be viewed.
The maps are presented not only as historical artifacts but also as representations of culture, art, politics, and the great trends of industrialization and westward expansion. They reflect much of the American movement toward Manifest Destiny and the creation of the myths of The West. The collection serves not only to illustrate Texas history but also American and European cultures over the centuries. Both the map collector and the amateur will benefit from reading this catalog.
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Published by Texas Christian University Press