COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) - Texas A&M Libraries obtained a rare map of Texas made by Stephen F Austin himself. It is a first edition map of Texas made. According to researchers at Texas A&M, the map was printed in 1830 and is the first map of Texas printed in the United States, and the second map ever printed depicting the state.
The map shows many of the colonies, such as Austin colony, that existed during the time period. Researchers tell KBTX the map was used to convince people from the east coast and Appalachia to travel west and settle Texas. This was done by showing the many rivers that flowed through the area in order to depict fertile land.
"Oh it was breathtaking," says Anton Duplessis, when he first laid eyes on the map. Duplessis is Clinical Assistant Professor at Texas A&M Libraries. "It is incredibly detailed, it is in fantastic shape. The colors that illustrate the features and boundaries are really great."
Texas A&M Preservation, which recently renovated that laboratories in September of 2017, says they are one of the few universities in the country that can actually take care of the rare map.
Preservation researchers say they need a little more time before they can exhibit the map to the public.
"The item came to us from a vendor and normally what we like to do is assess the condition of the object before we put it on exhibit," says Julie Mosbo, Director of the Preservation Lab. "Our conservator is in the process of looking at the item, and doing some additional work to it so it is ready."
Texas A&M Libraries says the map will be shown in the Cushing Memorial Library & Archives from April 20 to May 4, every Monday through Friday from 8 am to 6 pm. Cushing will also be open on April 21 from 1 pm to 4 pm with staff available who are able to answer questions about the map.