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General Land Office Receives Rare Stephen F. Austin Map

Stephen F. Austin
H.S. Tanner/ Texas General Land Office
Genl Austin's Map of Texas with parts of the adjoining States, 1848

The Texas General Land Office has received an exceptionally rare Stephen F. Austin map of Texas, and was donated by Thomas B. and Marsha Brown Taylor of Seabrook.


Austin’s map shows the eastern two thirds of Texas in 1830. The map is from the last known printing in 1848. No other copy of this map is known to exist.

James Harkins is the manager of the Save Texas History program at the GLO. He says this map provided the best view of what Texas looked like at the time because it was the first map made by someone in Texas. Harkins says the discovery of the map changes what is known about the cartography of Austin.

“One of the neatest things on this map is it says ‘herds of buffalo’ and ‘droves of wild horses,’” Harkins says. “Those are some features that are in addition to the different land districts and colonies that were in Texas at the time.”

There are also roads and rivers and coastal features shown on the map. Harkins says the GLO has 45,000 maps, but Austin’s map is one of a kind. It’s valued in the tens of thousands of dollars.

To see a close up or to purchase a copy of Austin’s map go the General Land Office’s Archive Map Store. http://www.glo.texas.gov/history/archives/map-store/index.cfm#item/94027


Louisa Jonas is an independent public radio producer, environmental writer, and radio production teacher based in Baltimore. She is thrilled to have been a PRX STEM Story Project recipient for which she produced a piece about periodical cicadas. Her work includes documentaries about spawning horseshoe crabs and migratory shorebirds aired on NPR's Weekend All Things Considered. Louisa previously worked as the podcast producer at WYPR 88.1FM in Baltimore. There she created and produced two documentary podcast series: Natural Maryland and Ascending: Baltimore School for the Arts. The Nature Conservancy selected her documentaries for their podcast Nature Stories. She has also produced for the Chemical Heritage Foundation’s Distillations Podcast. Louisa is editor of the book Backyard Carolina: Two Decades of Public Radio Commentary. She holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from University of North Carolina Wilmington. Her training also includes journalism fellowships from the Science Literacy Project and the Knight Digital Media Center, both in Berkeley, CA. Most recently she received a journalism fellowship through Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution where she traveled to Toolik Field Station in Arctic Alaska to study climate change. In addition to her work as an independent producer, she teaches radio production classes at Howard Community College to a great group of budding journalists. She has worked as an environmental educator and canoe instructor but has yet to convince a great blue heron to squawk for her microphone…she remains undeterred.