The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 94, July 1990 - April, 1991

Book Reviews

ography to make a good crash course in the literature of cartographic
history. In essence, the introduction analyzes the evolving cartography
of the Texas coast in the context of world exploration, from rudimen-
tary sixteenth-century beginnings to the era of Stephen F. Austin's
landmark map of Texas. Its concluding paragraphs expound the vola-
tile natural character of Galveston Island, as well as its cartography,
and also sketch the city's history from its founding in 1837-1838 to the
epoch hurricane of 19oo.
Austin ELIZABETH A. H. JOHN
Historical Atlas of Texas. By A. Ray Stephens and William M. Holmes.
(Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1989. Pp. 156. Preface,
maps, references, index. $24.95.)
This volume, part of the publisher's series of historical maps of sev-
eral states, sets out to illustrate topics in Texas history by means of maps
accompanied by brief interpretive essays. There are sixty-four maps al-
together, followed by references to materials consulted in preparing
each map and accompanying text. The maps are arranged in three
sections: five geographical maps (physiographic regions, and so on);
forty-two historical maps, and sixteen showing various aspects of Texas
life today (railroads, congressional districts, and so on).
According to the preface, the authors sought "to produce a historical
atlas that will aid the professional scholar, provide a greater under-
standing of the relationship of history and geography for students in
college and secondary schools, and serve as resource material for ele-
mentary school topical studies" (p. vii). Some of the maps and accom-
panying text are very useful, especially those having to do with military
installations, geography, and contemporary Texas.
The book, in general, does not live up to its authors' purposes. The
maps are simple black-line drawings. While this format keeps the pub-
lication costs low, it results in a work that is visually uninteresting. As
such it is not likely to attract the attention of public school students
(whose Texas history texts often contain multicolored maps) or the
general public. Also, most of the historical maps are large-sized shapes
of modern-day Texas, with smaller insets of Texas and surrounding
territory as these areas appeared at the time of the historical event or
movement being described. It would have been more useful had the
sizing of the two types of maps been reversed on each page. For ex-
ample, the large maps about the Spanish era (for example, 12, 14, and
17) should have delineated the boundaries of Texas as then existent.
The work suffers with respect to the interpretive text, rendering the
historical section of marginal value to academicians. In several essays

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 94, July 1990 - April, 1991. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101214/. Accessed September 21, 2014.