First Printed Atlas to Contain a Separate Map of Texas
"A Comprehensive Atlas Geographical, Historical & Commercial", Bradford, Thomas Gamaliel
Period: 1835 (published)
Color: Hand Color
10.7 x 13 inches
27.2 x 33 cm
This is the first edition of Bradford’s folio atlas, which is a revised edition of his small format atlas. This is the first American atlas to contain a separate map of Texas, which is based upon Stephen F. Austin’s important map. The map is entitled Texas, and shows land grants instead of counties. There are 14 land grants including Beales Grant, Austin & Williams Grant, and DeWitts Grant to name a few. Austins Colony is also named, but the city of Austin does not appear. The Nueces River is designated as the southwestern boundary of Texas with the Mustang Wild Horse Desert spanning the region between the Nueces and Rio Grande rivers. The map is marked page 64.A., and is accompanied by two pages of text marked 64.B and 64.C. describing the physical features, and also points out that Texas is "at present engaged in an arduous struggle for independence." Later editions only include one page of descriptive text.
Other important maps in the atlas include the maps of the United States, North America, and Mexico, Guatemala, and the West Indies which all show Mexico extending to the southern border of Oregon in the north and encompassing Texas in the east. In addition to the maps, the atlas includes an attractive frontispiece, "The Five Varieties of the Human Race" and interesting charts such as "Dwellings of Different Countries" and "Distribution of Vegetables, and Snow Line," and a great comparative chart of mountains and rivers.
Complete, large quarto, quarter leather spine and tips over marbled-paper covered boards, with gilt title on spine, marbled pastedowns, 180 pp. Contains an engraved frontispiece, pictorial title page, advertisement, table of contents, and 76 engraved plates (including 66 maps). Printed by Freeman Hunt & Co. in New York.
References: Phillips (Atlases) #770; Martin & Martin #31; Wheat [TMW] #408, 409, 410.
Maps and text show light to moderate foxing. The map of Texas has foxing mostly confined to the blank margins. Contents are tight, but the hinge is starting and the spine is nearly perished. Covers are bumped and worn. There is a light damp stain in the upper third of the first few pages with previous owner's signature in the front endpapers.