INTRODUCTION

Brownsville, Texas
John E. Weyss, artist
1847



Over the past 500 years cartographers have recorded the shape of Texas on a host of maps. The first explorer to map Texas was the Spaniard Alonzo Álvarez de Piñeda. He was commissioned in 1519 by the governor of Jamaica to map the Gulf coast. Since then the shape of Texas has evolved to its present form. Conflict between competing powers resulted in many of these changes. Spain, France, Mexico, and the United States have all sought a piece of Texas. When Mexico opened its borders to immigration in the 1820s, maps became a critical tool to the flood of settlers coming into the area that is now Texas. Surveyors mapped their land claims and the claims were recorded at the General Land Office. This exhibit highlights maps important at the time of their creation. They now provide us with a visual history of Texas’ transformation.

Shawn B. Carlson
Curator of Collections and Exhibits
Star of the Republic Museum





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