DescriptionWilliam Kennedy. Texas: The Rise, Progress, and Prospects of the Republic of Texas. In Two Volumes. London: R. Hastings, 1841. Second Edition. Two octavo volumes. lii, 378; vi, 548 pages. Appendices. Two folding maps and two full page maps. With a complete map by John Arrowsmith, laid-in: Map of Texas, compiled from Surveys recorded in the Land Office of Texas, and other Official Surveys. Measuring 19" x 23", re-backed in linen, hand-colored borders, marking towns, counties, roads, military routes, rivers, creeks, and the locations of various Indian tribes. Relief is shown in hachures. With insets of the Plan of Galveston Bay and a map of the United States, Mexico, Texas, and the southern border of British North America (Canada). Printed along the lower edge of the map, "London Pubd. 17 April, 1841, by John Arrowsmith. 10 Soho Square." Jenkins, in his Basic Texas Books, writes that the Arrowsmith map was apparently "included in only a portion of the copies of the original edition, as only a small percentage of surviving copies contain it." The second folding map, facing page 336 of Volume I, is a Map of the Republic of Texas and the Adjacent Territories, Indicating the Grants of Land Conceded under the Empresario System of Mexico (14.5" x 12"). Rebound in black cloth with titles stamped in gilt on the spines.
Considered the single best work on early Texas and hugely important in encouraging European emigration. This publication by William Kennedy (1799-1871) covers the geography and natural features of Texas as well as its history during the revolution and early years of the Republic, with many of the basic documents of the revolution seeing their first European publication in these volumes. Texans were shocked that such a thorough and comprehensive overview of Texas could have been written by a European, but "Kennedy himself gives a clue as to how he was able to obtain such a wealth of reliable data when he reveals that he was given access to M[irabeau]. B. Lamar's private papers -- a collection that was then and is still now an unexcelled mine of information on Texas history and geography" (Jenkins). This work had such a profound influence on gaining recognition of Texan independence abroad -- particularly in England and Germany -- that Kennedy, an Irishman, was appointed by the Texas government as Texan Consul in London and later as British Consul at Galveston. Per Raines: "This book was pronounced to be the best history of Texas extant. The Texan Congress passed a resolution of thanks to the author. The physical description of Texas [is] the best published up to that time. No historian of Texas has more eloquent paragraphs." "An important work on Texas . . . [and] a most interesting book . . . Kennedy brings in various contemporary comments not usually found in the conventional account, and there is much in the way of contemporary articles and observations." (Streeter). An extremely important book that helped to establish Texas as an international presence.
Condition: Very good. Later bindings in fine condition. Contents toned with occasional damp staining. Hinges reinforced with cloth tape in both volumes. Former owner's library bookplate on the front pastedown of each volume. Contemporary owner's name in ink on the title page of Volume II. 2.5" closed tear on the title page of Volume I. Map of Texas, linen backed and in very good condition; Map of the Republic of Texas in poor condition with numerous old browned tape repairs and large splits in the folds. Still, a sound copy of this rare work.
References: Streeter 1385. Jenkins, Basic Texas Books 117A. Graff 2308. Howes K92. Raines, pp. 132-133. Sabin 37440.
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