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    Explorer and author Josiah Gregg's copy of Francis Moore's Map and Description of Texas

    Francis Moore, Jr.: Map and Description of Texas, containing Sketches of its History, Geology, Geography and Statistics: With concise statements, relative to the soil, climate, productions, facilities of transportation, population of the country; and some brief remarks Upon the Character and Customs of its Inhabitants. By Francis Moore, Jr., Editor of the Telegraph and Texas Register. (Philadelphia: H. Tanner, Junr.; New York: Tanner & Distunell, 1840). First edition. Inscribed on the front free endpaper: "Josiah Gregg, Galveston Novr. 18, 1841." This was Gregg's copy, and then belonging to Samuel Breese of Morse-Breese cartographers. Twelvemo (5.75" x 3.5"). 143 pages plus errata page. Index. Illustrated with all eight excellent engraved plates: "Ruins of the Alamo", "Mission of San Jose", "Mission del Espiritu Santo", "Mission de la Concepcion", "Town of Sanantonio de Bexar", "Church in the Square of San Antonio", "Town of Goliad Formerly La Bahia", and "Scene near Austin." The large color folding map is titled: Genl. Austin's Map of Texas with Parts of the Adjoining States, compiled by Stephen F. Austin. Published by H.S. Tanner, Philadelphia. Engraved by John & Wm. W. Warr, Philad. (29.5" x 23.5"). Original brown cloth, stamped in gilt on the front cover. Original cloth a bit chipped at head and foot of spine, one plate with a clean slice repaired on the rear. An excellent copy. Accompanied by Josiah Gregg's manuscript notebook containing entries concerning his business dealings in Texas and travels in 1841 and several sheets entitled: "Notes for a map." Front endpaper has inscription signed by S. Breese. Both items housed in matching quarter brown morocco clamshell cases with book-back spines in five compartments with four raised bands, lettered and ruled in gilt. From the collection of Darrel Brown.

    Reference: Streeter 1363: "Exceedingly rare, only 3 copies known with map and plates." "Josiah Gregg was a merchant, explorer, naturalist, and author of the American Southwest and Northern Mexico. He is most famous for his The Commerce of the Prairies, an account of his time spent as a trader on the Santa Fe Trail before the Mexican-American War. Gregg had training in both law and medicine, and practiced both with distinction before he retired from urban life due to deteriorating tuberculosis. He traded on the Santa Fe Trail from 1831 to 1840, and published his account in Commerce in 1844. This included extensive descriptions of the geography, botany, geology, and culture of New Mexico. The book established Gregg's literary reputation, and he was hired as a news correspondent during the Mexican War. In this capacity, he traveled through Chihuahua. He corresponded with George Engelmann in St. Louis, Missouri, sending him collections of plants, many of which were previously undescribed. Several Southwestern plants bear the patronym "greggii" to honor Gregg's contributions. After the war, Gregg participated in the California Gold Rush. He died in 1850 from starvation and exposure while leading an emergency winter expedition out of a snow bound mining camp. The expedition has been credited with the rediscovery of Humboldt Bay that resulted in its settlement.
    "In 1840, Francis Moore, Jr., an enterprising citizen of the Republic of Texas, published a map and description of the new country. Similar to promotional literature published throughout the West, the book was directed to all potential immigrants. It praised Texas as possessing a healthful climate, abundant resources, and opportunities unlimited. Texas did have a few frontier disadvantages such as a minor Indian problem, but they were not serious. Those thinking of making Texas their new home should not be deterred by exaggerated tales of Indian depredations. 'The Indian tribes of Texas,' he wrote, 'with the single exception of the Commanches, are all small and but the mere remnants of tribes who have been driven from their original hunting grounds.' Moore's observations were especially accurate in relation to the tribes of the Texas gulf coast. Americans, who had been entering Texas in ever increasing numbers since empresario Stephen Austin's 1821 settlement, had by 1840 in fact reduced the coastal tribes to mere remnants of their former numbers." -Padre Island National Seashore Historic Resource Study.
    "Francis Moore, Jr., newspaper editor, Houston mayor, and amateur geologist, was born in Salem, Massachusetts, on April 20, 1808, the son of Dr. Francis Moore. In his youth he lost an arm in an accident. In 1828 his family moved to Livingston County, New York; he studied medicine like his father, who was a graduate of Harvard. When Moore moved to Bath, New York, around 1834, he also studied law and taught school. With his friends Jacob W. and James F. Cruger he left New York in 1836 to help Texas win independence from Mexico. He arrived in June and served as a volunteer and assistant surgeon with the Buckeye Rangers. On March 9, 1837, Moore bought an interest in the Telegraph and Texas Register from Thomas H. Borden, and in May the paper was moved from Columbia to Houston. Gail Borden, who also owned interest in the newspaper, sold his share on June 2 to Jacob Cruger. Cruger remained Moore's partner until April 1, 1851, when Moore bought him out. Moore edited the Telegraph and Texas Register for seventeen years. In it he published government documents, excerpted popular fiction, and addressed such issues as dueling, which he argued against. He also wrote a series of articles on the natural resources of Texas, later collected and published in two editions, Map and Description of Texas (1840) and Description of Texas (1844). Moore was thrice mayor of Houston. He was elected the city's second mayor in 1838 and served until the summer of 1839, when he resigned and temporarily returned to New York. During his term the city approved construction of a market house, hired its first police officers, passed a city charter, and purchased a town lot and fire engine for the first fire department. In 1843 Moore won another term as mayor, and the city built the first bridge over Buffalo Bayou. Finally, during his successive terms as mayor from 1840 to 1852, Moore worked to improve the city roads, which were often flooded. He was also involved in the early business development of Houston. He was director of the Harrisburg Town Company in 1839-40. In June 1839 he was elected to the board of directors of the Harrisburg Rail Road and Trading Company, the fourth oldest railroad company in Texas, and on October 26, 1842 he was elected treasurer of the newly chartered city of Harrisburg. In 1850 he helped organize the Houston Plank Road Company, and in 1851-52 he promoted the Houston and Texas Central Railway. From November 1839 to February 1842 Moore served in the Texas Senate's fourth, fifth, and sixth congresses as the representative from Harris, Liberty, and Galveston counties. As chairman of the committee on education, he urged the chartering of Rutersville College and proposed that geology, a particular interest of his, be included in the school's curriculum. Moore was in favor of the annexation of Texas by the United States, and he represented Harris County at the Convention of 1845." -Priscilla Myers Benham, From the Handbook of Texas Online. From the collection of Darrel Brown.

    Reference: Streeter 1363




    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2007
    1st-3rd Saturday-Monday
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