1846 Williams / Mitchell Map of Texas at fullest

Map of Texas from the most recent authorities. - Main View

1846 Williams / Mitchell Map of Texas at fullest


Texas on the eve of Statehood.


Map of Texas from the most recent authorities.
  1846 (dated)     12.5 x 15.5 in (31.75 x 39.37 cm)     1 : 3300000


A rare 1845 / 1846 example of the C. S. Williams / J. H. Young / S. A. Mitchell map of Texas, published in the final days of the Republic of Texas just as Texas was preparing to join the United States. Coverage includes Texas at its fullest extent, reaching from Santa Fe and the Rio Grande del Norte to the Sabin River and extending as far north as the Arkansas River (plus a stovepipe encompassing the Green Mountains not fully illustrated). Northwestern Texas is incorporated via an inset in the lower left.
Republic of Texas
The Republic of Texas was a short-lived nation-state established in March of 1836 when it seceded from Mexico. Following the independence of Mexico from Spain, the American Stephen Fuller Austin led a group of 300 Empresarios to settle Texas, near Austin, where they received a grant from the Mexican government. As more Americans moved to Texas, resentment and strife began to build between the American settlers and Mexican authorities. This and other factors ultimately led to the Texan Revolution in 1835 and the declaration of Texan independence in 1836. Texas remained an independent republic until it joined the United States ten years later in 1846.
The Republic of Texas Borders
The borders of the Republic of Texas were in dispute from the earliest days of the Texan Revolution. The Republic-claimed borders followed the Treaties of Velasco, as settled between the newly created Texas Republic and Mexican leader, Antonio López de Santa Anna. The eastern boundary followed the 1819 Adams-Onís Treaty between the United States and Spain, which established the Sabine River as the eastern boundary of Spanish Texas and western boundary of the Missouri Territory.

The Republic's southern and western boundary with Mexico was more nuanced. Texas claimed the Rio Grande del Norte as its western and southernmost border, while Mexico argued for a boundary much further east at the Nueces River. When Texas was annexed into the United States, the agreement followed the Republic-claimed boundary, thus absorbing Mexican-claimed territory as far west as Santa Fe. This escalated already existing tensions between the United States, the former Republic of Texas, and Mexico, ultimately triggering the Mexican-American War (1846 - 1848). The boundary here, as befits a map issued in the United States, follows the boundaries of Texas claimed by the Republic and annexed by the United States.
Publication History and Census
This is the second state of the first edition of J. H. Young, S. A. Mitchell, and C. S. Williams' 1845 map of Texas. The first state has the 1845 date under the title. The second state is updated with an 1846 date, and the imprint moved to center, but the plate is otherwise unchanged. Engraved by James H. Young in 1845, this map features the elegant borderwork added by Carey and Hart after their takeover of Tanner's Universal Atlas. In the same year, the plates were acquired by S. A. Mitchell, who issued several variants of the map for the first editions of his own historic atlas, this being the first. The map would soon be significantly updated yet again with new counties and Mitchell's own strapwork border late in 1846.


C. S. Williams (1800 - 18??) was an American engraver and publisher active in Philadelphia during the middle part of the 19th century. Williams is elusive and we have been unable to definitively isolate much information about him. He may have been born in New York. He engraved for Her Schenck Tanner (1796 0 1858) and his imprint and copyright is associated with several important Tanner atlas maps issued between 1845 and 1846. Similarly, his imprint carries over to Tanner legacy maps issued by Samuel Augustus Mitchell (1792 - 1868) maps until about 1850. There are references to an engraver by the name of C. S. Williams in New Haven, Connecticut, active in the 1830s, as well as to a C. S. Williams active in Ohio from around 1850, where he published a various city directories, including one for Cincinnati, Columbia, Dayton, Zanesville, Stubenville, et al.. There is also a C. S. Williams identified as a Surveyor and Land Agent in Iowa City, Iowa, c. 1858. It is unclear if these are the same person, or, completely unrelated individuals. More by this mapmaker...

James Hamilton Young (December 18, 1792 - c. 1870) was a Scottish-American draughtsman, engraver, and cartographer active in Philadelphia during the first half of the 19th century. Young was born in Avondale, Lanark, Scotland and emigrated to the United States sometime before 1817. Young was a pioneer in American steel plate engraving, a process superior to copper plate engraving due to the increased durability of steel. His earliest known maps date to about 1817, when Young was 25. At the time he was partnered with William Kneass (1780 - 1840), as Kneass, Young and Company, an imprint that was active from 1817 to 1820. He then partnered with with George Delleker, publishing under the imprint of Young and Delleker, active from 1822 to 1823. Young engraved for numerous cartographic publishers in the Philadelphia area, including Anthony Finley, Charles Varle, and Samuel Augustus Mitchell, among others. His most significant work includes maps engraved for Anthony Finley and later Samuel Augustus Mitchell. Mitchell proved to be Young's most significant collaborator. The pair published numerous maps from about 1831 well into the 1860s. Young retired sometime in the mid to late 1860s. In 1840 he registered a patent for an improved system of setting up typography for printing. ˆˆ Learn More...

Samuel Augustus Mitchell (March 20, 1792 - December 20, 1868) began his map publishing career in the early 1830s. Mitchell was born in Bristol, Connecticut. He relocated to Philadelphia in 1821. Having worked as a school teacher and a geographical writer, Mitchell was frustrated with the low quality and inaccuracy of school texts of the period. His first maps were an attempt to rectify this problem. In the next 20 years Mitchell would become the most prominent American map publisher of the mid-19th century. Mitchell worked with prominent engravers J. H. Young, H. S. Tanner, and H. N. Burroughs before attaining the full copyright on his maps in 1847. In 1849 Mitchell either partnered with or sold his plates to Thomas, Cowperthwait and Company who continued to publish the Mitchell's Universal Atlas. By about 1856 most of the Mitchell plates and copyrights were acquired by Charles Desilver who continued to publish the maps, many with modified borders and color schemes, until Mitchell's son, Samuel Augustus Mitchell Junior, entered the picture. In 1859, S.A. Mitchell Jr. purchased most of the plates back from Desilver and introduced his own floral motif border. From 1860 on, he published his own editions of the New General Atlas. The younger Mitchell became as prominent as his father, publishing maps and atlases until 1887, when most of the copyrights were again sold and the Mitchell firm closed its doors for the final time. Learn More...


Mitchell, S.A., A New Universal Atlas Containing Maps of the various Empires, Kingdoms, States, and Republics of the World…, (Philadelphia: Mitchell) 1846.     The New Universal Atlas is one of the great American atlases of the mid-19th century. Samuel Augustus Mitchell first issued the atlas in 1846 when he acquired the map plates and copyright for Tanner's New Universal Atlas from its publisher, Carey and Hart. The first transitional 1846 edition was published jointly with Carey and Hart, but a second edition was published in the same year with the Tanner imprint erased. This edition of the atlas also introduced the signature S. A. Mitchell green and pink color scheme. Most of the maps from the early editions of the atlas were engraved by H. N. Burroughs or C. S. Williams, often bearing their copyright. Burroughs maps also tended to have what map collector David Rumsey refers to as the 'Cary and Hart' borders, which featured a narrow vine motif. These borders were replaced, along with the Burroughs imprint, with the more traditional Mitchell strap work border used in the atlases until 1856. Mitchell published editions until late in 1850, when he sold the rights to Thomas, Cowperthwait and Company of Philadelphia. Under Cowperthwait, the atlases continued to be published and bear the Mitchell name until 1856, when it the plates were again sold, this time to Charles Desilver. Desilver reworked the plates with new border art and a revised color scheme in the style of J. H. Colton. Desilver issued editions from 1857 to 1860, when the atlas was phased out in favor of Samuel Augustus Mitchell Jr.'s New General Atlas.


Good. A few points of surface abrasion. Some discoloration to margins.


Rumsey 0545.039, 4835.045. OCLC 26892589.