The Texas A&M University Libraries acquired a rare map of Texas as a result of generous donations from The Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp ’72, the Texas A&M University System’s Board of Regents, and Bonnie and Otway Denny ’71.
Chancellor Sharp provided the lead gift for the $335,000 map, while each of the Regents also contributed to its acquisition: Chairman Charles Schwartz, Vice-Chairman Elaine Mendoza ’87 and members Phil Adams ’70, Robert Albritton ’71, Anthony Buzbee ’90, Morris Foster ’65, Tim Leach ’82, Bill Mahomes ’69 and Cliff Thomas ’72. The Dennys are longtime supporters of the University Libraries, who also made a significant contribution toward the acquisition.
This map, produced in 1830, is only one of eight known to still exist. Stephen F. Austin’s Map of Texas has been described as “the first meaningful map of Texas” and represents one of the most important maps of the American West. The map was published in eight editions through 1845 and is the first map of Texas printed in the United States.
It took Austin more than five years to compile and draw the map using surveys conducted around the state. This map was the first of Texas to accurately depict the state’s rivers, boundaries and waterways and illustrate many of the early Texas settlements including Brazoria, Gonzales, Harrisburg, Matagorda, Victoria and Waco Village.
“As the first public university in Texas, we are proud to bring this significant piece of our state’s history to campus,” said Board of Regents Chairman Charles W. Schwartz. “We’re honored to care for Stephen F. Austin’s 1830 Map of Texas for years to come. As a Texan who owns a parcel of land between the Brazos and Colorado Rivers, it is exciting for me to see the first depiction of my land as a part of a place called Texas.”
Austin’s map holds significant value to researchers of Texas history, cartography and printmaking. To celebrate its acquisition, the map was on display on the first floor of Cushing Library during the weeks surrounding Aggie Muster and San Jacinto Day. The map will be housed in a special exhibit case to permit its frequent display and use in instruction and long-term preservation.
This joint gift counts toward the university’s Lead by Example comprehensive campaign. Support raised through the $4 billion campaign will empower Texas A&M to continue to be recognized as a world-class, top-tier public research institution and provide students with access to an affordable education with the best faculty, facilities, technology and transformational opportunities.
Texas A&M University Libraries
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Texas A&M Foundation
The Texas A&M Foundation is a nonprofit organization that unites generosity and vision to raise and manage major endowed gifts that support the future of Texas A&M University. For additional information on how to support the Texas A&M University Libraries, please contact Adelle Hedleston ’88 at firstname.lastname@example.org or (979) 862-4574. For additional photographs and information, please contact Molly Kulpa ’15 at email@example.com or (979) 845-7463.