Texas Heritage, Volume 19, Number 1, Winter 2001 Page: 55
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When in Jefferson,
The Texas History Museum in
Jefferson is dedicated to the
preservation and interpretation
of Texas' rich heritage. It is
located in the 1865 Haywood
House at the corer of Dallas
and Market streets. In the
museum you'll walk through a
timeline of discovery and
experience for yourself the
accumulation of knowledge of New
World Texas beginning only twentyone
years after Columbus' voyage of
You'll see the same maps showing
the New World that 16th century
Europeans marveled at when the explorers returned
back across the "Ocean Sea". You too can be amazed
at the stories, the exciting tales of a New World filled
with strange exotic plants, animals, and people, and an
empire for the taking. Through the eyes of explorers,
mapmakers and settlers you too can witness the
unfolding of knowledge about the unspoiled, raw and
immensely rich land that would become Texas.
The extremely rare Waldseemueller "Terre Nova" map of
1513 is the crown jewel of a collection of over 400 maps
and atlases. This map is believed to be the first map showing
the land that would become Texas.
Cartographers of the 1500s, 1600s and 1700s knew
they were engaged in expanding Europeans'
knowledge and understanding of the New World.
Many of the historically significant maps in the
collection are works of art in their own right, complete
with representations of popular motifs, artistic devices
and myths of the day. Some are more fanciful, artistic
and even more "creative" than they are accurate. But
all contribute to the the story of Texas exploration,
settlement and development.
If maps defined the land area that became Texas,
money, bank- notes, bills of exchange and stock
certificates tell the story of Texas' economic political
development. Most people don't know that some early
Texas currency was paper money printed in
denominations of 25, 37 1/2, and 50 cents. The
museum even has a 6 1/4 cent note printed and issued
to pay Mexican troops stationed at the frontier post of
Nacogdoches in the 1820s.
During the days of the Republic of Texas, President
Sam Houston actually signed Texas exchequer
(treasury) notes by hand. And, until the Bank of
Reform Act of 1933 under President Franklin
Roosevelt's New Deal, national banks all over the U.S.
were allowed to print their own banknotes. The Texas
History Museum houses the most complete collection
of Texas currency, banknotes and land scrip in the
United States. Most Texas cities and counties are
represented in the exhibit.
If historical research is your interest, visit the Texana
research library housed in the museum. It features
hundreds of first edition books printed about Texas and
Texans including the last book David Crockett
published before he made his trip to the Alamo in San
Antonio. There is also an early translation of Alvar
Nunez de Cabeza de Vaca's narrative of his harrowing
epic journey across Texas in the Southwest between
1528 and 1536 after being shipwrecked on the Texas
coast. There are many other titles including works by
Texas literary giants J. Frank Dobie, Walter Prescott
Webb and author/artist Tom Lea.
Mappa Geographica Regionem Mexicanem et Floride,
Tobias Conradus Lotter, Augsburg 1740
The Texas History Museum, a publicly funded
501(c)(3) non-profit organization, was created by B.B.
Barr Foundation of Dallas. Its purpose is to preserve
and exhibit Texas' rich cultural and historical past. To
become a supporting member of the museum, send
your tax-deductible (to the extent allowed by law)
The Texas History Museum
P.O. Box 687
Jefferson, Tx 75657
For more information about the museum, its activities and
special exhibits schedule, call 903-665-1101 or visit
The museum's E-mail address is:
Open Daily 9:30-5:30
Group Tours Welcome
Hospitality Room & Meeting Space Available
Abraham Ortelius, Antwerp, 1570
Map of Texas containing the latest Grants & Discoveries E.F.
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Texas Historical Foundation. Texas Heritage, Volume 19, Number 1, Winter 2001, periodical, Winter 2001; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45384/m1/55/: accessed April 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.