159 The Republic of Texas 1846
The State of Texas was once a republic before it was accepted into the Union. It was a separate sovereign nation that had gained independence from Mexico in 1836. Compiled and drawn by Carl Christian Franz Radefeld in 1846, and published by Joseph Meyer in his famed “Zeitungs-Atlas” around 1850 in Hildburghausen, the “Texas Nach den besten Quellen entw. U. Gez. Vom Hauptm. Radefeld. 1846” is a detailed map of the Republic of Texas at the start of the Mexican-American War (1846-1847). Meyer’s Zeitungs-Atlas featured great details of various U.S. maps. This German map is the earliest version, and is based on William Hemsley Emory’s 1844 map of Texas, which was the leading U.S. Government mapping of Texas as a republic.
This map depicts not only Texas, but most of the southwestern U.S. and northern Mexico as well. Extending to the north is Wyoming, while the Rio Grande, the Mississippi River and the Red River are in the west. This map presents distinct borders which show the western borders of Texas appearing to follow the Rio Brava, and Houston situated both in southeast Texas and on the Rio Grande. The Gila River empties directly into the Gulf of California, and New Mexico appears more or less along the Rio Grande. The Upper California region is also illustrated.
Radefeld further shows early Indian tribal territories north of the Red River, with population numbers belonging to each tribe. He also detailed forts, early settlements and roads, and the exploration routes of Zebulon Pike, Josiah Gregg, John C. Fremont, and Stephen H. Long.
Appearing in Meyer’s famous atlas, lends to the official and educational value of the map at the time as a topographical and geographical resource. It was the earliest of its kind which made it the best before it was corrected and reproduced in any manner. This map perhaps was referenced in the drawing of the new borders after the annexation of Texas in the Mexican-American War.
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