Texas: A Historical Atlas
by A. Ray Stephens, cartography by Carol Zuber Mallison, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, 2010, $39.95.
This excellent reference is an update of the Historical Atlas of Texas, with a new name and twice as many maps as the original volume. The maps track interstate highways, worst twisters, hurricane paths, major oil and gas discoveries, Texas tideland oil fields, state senate districts, Hispanic populations by county, Texas institutions of higher learning, etc. But at the heart of the book are the full-color history maps, such as ones showing possible routes of Coronado, the death of the buffalo, cattle trails, stagecoach routes, early roads, Republic of Texas empresario grants, the Battle of San Jacinto, Civil War battles and military posts after the Civil War. Part I deals with “Natural Texas” and Part III with “ Modern Texas” (1900–2009). But Part II, “The Texans,” is the biggest section, covering everything from the Texas Indians, Spanish explorers and Mexican Texas to the Republic of Texas, the Civil War and the range cattle industry. The visually compelling 418-page work includes essays reflecting recent scholarship. It provides indepth information, as well as interesting, at-a-glance facts on each page. For example, Galveston was Texas’ largest city in 1850 and the U.S. Senate in February 1845 voted 27 to 25 for annexation of Texas.
Originally published in the October 2010 issue of Wild West. To subscribe, click here.