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DRT Library Hosts the Texas Map Society

April 8, 2009
Members of the Texas Map Society examining some of the materials on display.

Members of the Texas Map Society examining some of the materials on display.

Last Friday, April 3, the Alamo and the DRT Library hosted members of the Texas Map Society as part of the organization’s three-day spring meeting in San Antonio. Attendees viewed some of the historic maps of Texas in the library’s collections, including:

Abraham Ortelius, Hispaniae Novae, 1579: Hispaniae Novae sivae magnae recens et vera descriptio is from an edition of Ortelius’s Theatrum orbis terrarum. This work is generally considered to be the first modern atlas because it was the first standardized compilation of printed maps to show contemporary, rather than classical, information.

Abraham Ortelius's 1579 map, Hispaniae Novae.

Abraham Ortelius's 1579 map, Hispaniae Novae.

John Senex, A Map of Louisiana and of the River Mississipi, from A New General Atlas, Containing a Geographical & Historical Account of All the Empires, Kingdoms, and Other Dominions of the World, 1719: John Senex published this copy of an important map prepared in 1718 by the French cartographer Guillaume Delisle, one of a number of versions of Delisle’s works issued. The Delisle map, reflected in this Senex copy of it, was the earliest to show the beginnings of the shape of Texas as we know it and to use a variation of the name Texas, in identifying Mission de los Tiejas in east Texas on the Trinity River.

John Senex's A Map of Louisiana and of the River Mississipi, 1719.

John Senex's A Map of Louisiana and of the River Mississipi, 1719.

Mapa de los Estados Unidos Mejicanos, 1837: Published in Paris by a man known only as Rosa, this map is an exceptionally rare European version of what is considered to be one of the most significant maps of nineteenth-century Mexico, Texas, and the southwestern United States. The document played a role in the convoluted development of John Disturnell’s treaty map showing the final boundary between the United States and Mexico after the Mexican-American War (1846-1848).

Stephen F. Austin, A Map of Austin’s Colony & Adjacent Country in Texas Drawn Principally from Actual Survey by Stephen F. Austin, 1820s: This is an early example of Austin’s Texas maps based on Mexican cartographic efforts and information provided by surveyors and residents.

Manuscript map drawn by Stephen F. Austin.

Manuscript map drawn by Stephen F. Austin.

Attendees also enjoyed a light dinner on the Alamo grounds and a self-guided audio tour of the complex. The evening concluded with a presentation by Dr. Bruce Winders, Alamo historian and curator. He spoke about his personal collection of nineteenth-century school atlases and what these materials reveal about Americans’ perceptions of Texas at that time.

Dr. Bruce Winders during his talk "The Power of School Atlases to Decode the Past."

Dr. Bruce Winders during his talk, "The Power of School Atlases to Decode the Past."

Click here for a full citation of the documents and images included in this entry.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. jgflkjahsd permalink
    December 15, 2014 10:09 pm

    can u tell me where san felipe capitol was located?

  2. drtlibrary permalink*
    December 16, 2014 4:41 pm

    San Felipe de Austin is located on the Brazos River in East Central Texas. You can find out much more information at their website, http://www.visitsanfelipedeaustin.com/index.aspx?page=17.

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