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    [Map]. J[acob] De Cordova. J. De Cordova's Map of Texas. Compiled from the Records of the General Land Office of the State, By Robert Creuzbaur, Houston, 1853. With the original boards, but removed from same for the purpose of restoration. Large format lithograph map, measuring 32.75" x 34.75", elegantly colored by hand, showing counties, cities and towns, roads, rivers, and Indian villages. Printed on four sheets, with no evidence of ghosting or staining resulting from the adhesive. Untitled elliptical inset at lower right of the southwestern United States and Mexico has been replaced in facsimile. A second inset along the left lists land districts and their respective counties. At lower left is found the official seals of the State of Texas and of the General Land Office with printed comments regarding the map from noted Texans Sam Houston, Thomas Rusk, etc. and their facsimile signatures.

    The boards (4" x 6") are leather bound with gilt title reading. "J. De Cordova's Map of Texas." The front pastedown is signed: "James M. Manning's map / corrected for its Author by said Manning." The map was first issued in 1849, and revised the following year. The 1853 issue offered here had further revisions. A letter from De Cordova to Manning (offered as Lot 53118 in this auction) indicates that Manning was Deputy District Surveyor for Corpus Christi in 1852, and would have indeed been involved in making revisions. Also present with the map is James Manning's military appointment to the rank of corporal in the 5th Regiment, 8th Brigade, and 9th Division of Infantry of the New York state militia. The appointment measures 12.25" x 7.5" and is dated August 19, 1831.

    Future De Cordova maps would see additional revisions to reflect the continuing progress and advancement in Texas. German cartographer Charles W. Pressler would make further revisions for the Colton Company once De Cordova sold off his rights to the map. But the format remained generally the same over the years. Jenkins states: "Sam Houston delivered a speech praising the map [the 1849 edition] on the floor of the U.S. Senate ...that it was 'the most correct and authentic map of Texas ever compiled.'" Of the 1850 edition: "An important and authentic map-possibly the finest of the period." (Eberstadt)

    "[Jacob] De Cordova, a native of Jamaica, was one of the earliest Jewish settlers in Texas. He supplied goods for the Texas Revolution from New Orleans and settled in Galveston in 1837. [...] He was fluent in English, German, French, Spanish, Hebrew, and several Indian languages. He became one of the leading land merchants in Texas, and worked for thirty years promoting immigration into the state" (Jenkins). In 1847, De Cordova was elected to the Texas House of Representatives, but lost his bid for reelection in 1849. Working as a land agent, he, along with George B. Erath, laid out the town of Waco. He was instrumental in promoting immigration to Texas through speeches professing her wonders given throughout the United States and as far away as England. He also published a number of pamphlets and guidebooks including The Texas Immigrant and Traveller's Guide Book (1856) and Texas, Her Resources and Her Public Men (1858). De Cordova died in 1868.

    Condition: The map has been removed from the boards for the purpose of restoration, and has been backed with archival tissue to reinforce separations occurring at folds, and tiny bits of paper loss occurring thereat. Light soiling throughout, but colors remain bright. The elliptical inset map at lower right has been replaced in facsimile, including the text and signature by De Cordova (an area measuring approximately 12.5" x 11"). Boards have wear, bumped corners and soiling. The appointment has been mounted to card stock, with chipping and paper loss, and some dampstaining.

    Reference: Basic Texas Books 38; 38n. Eberstadt, Texas 162:241. Phillips, America, p. 845 (cites editions 1849-1857).




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    Auction Dates
    March, 2016
    12th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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