The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 85, July 1981 - April, 1982 Page: 400
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
most favord region I had ever seen. Its fertility and natural resources, so far
exceeding any thing I had imagined, determined me to devote my life to
the great object of redeeming it from the wilderness.
... My first step was to study the character of the Mexicans and ascer-
tain their ideas and views as to Texas-1 found they know nothing about
it and were profoundly ignorant of its real value.... I also discovered that
strong prejudices existed against the North Americans .... These observa-
tions convinced me that the only means of redeeming this country from
the wilderness was by peaceful silent, noisless [sic], perseverence [sic] and
... last year I found that the Govt. were beginning to become suspicious
that this country was of more value than they had supposed it was, Gen.'
Teran passed through here, and saw it. I found that something must be
done to draw emigration and I determined to have the Map published as
the Most effectual means of operating on an intelligent people, and the
least dangerous with the Mexicans, for not many of them know anything
Thus Austin saw his map as the best vehicle for promoting immigra-
tion without arousing the suspicions of the Mexican government.
When Austin arrived upon the scene in Texas in 1821 the land was
scarcely known, much less mapped. By the time of his death in 1836,
not only was Texas a thriving colony in the midst of an arduous strug-
gle for its independence, it was also well on its way towards being ex-
plored and accurately charted. Austin demands a place in the forefront
of both developments. His maps served to entice the independent
American yeoman into Texas, paving the way with information con-
cerning a territory as yet barely explored, while simultaneously as-
sisting the empresario in his dealings with the Mexican government
on behalf of his inchoate colony. By widely disseminating an accurate
depiction of Texas at a pivotal time in the history of the region, Austin
initiated the modern period of Texas cartography. He deserves recog-
nition for his contributions to the cartography of Texas commensurate
with that that he has long received for his efforts in its colonization.
37Austin to Learning, June 14, 183o, ibid., 413-414.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 85, July 1981 - April, 1982, periodical, 1981/1982; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101208/m1/458/: accessed May 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.