Description of Western Texas, Published by the Galveston, Harrisburg
WHILLDIN, M., comp. A Description of Western Texas, Published by the Galveston, Harrisburg & San Antonio Railway Company, the Sunset route. Galveston, Tx.: Printed at the "News" Steam Book & Job Office, 1876. ,120pp. plus twenty-eight lithographic plates (including frontispiece). Colored map on verso of front wrapper. Original pictorial wrappers. Wrappers a bit darkened, small chips at spine ends and along joints. Contemporary ownership signature of Horace H. Coker on front wrapper, front fly leaves, and titlepage. Upper outer corner of leaves containing pp.97-102 chipped, not affecting text. Very good. An extensively illustrated guide for prospective immigrants to Western Texas, published by the Galveston, Harrisburg & San Antonio Railway Company. The text provides descriptions of the cities, towns, and counties of western Texas, complemented by additional information on a variety of topics of interest for those considering a move to the region. A prefatory note to the reader states that the compiler researched "the labors of all who have written on Texas. The authorities chiefly consulted and used were Yokum's, Kennedy's, Foote's, and Baker's HISTORIES, the various numbers of the TEXAS ALMANAC, the publications of the Smithsonian Institute, Kinsbury's DESCRIPTION OF WESTERN TEXAS, Handford's STATE REGISTER, Mrs. Holly's TEXAS, THE TEXAS SCRAP BOOK...the publications of the State Commissioner of Immigration, General Robertson, and the Parish Registers of the Mission Churches at San Antonio." The black and white lithographic plates are primarily views of cities and towns, with some rural scenes as well. The images of settled areas include Galveston, Weimar, Flatonia, Gonzales, New Braunfels, San Antonio, and various missions. A large part of the book is devoted to San Antonio with views of the town and several of the missions, including the Alamo, and the latter part of the book describes various parts of Texas west of San Antonio. Executed in an accomplished, understated style, the lithographs serve as a marvellous invitation to the region. Other illustrations include a lithographic plate with portraits of four major Texas figures (Sam Houston, Anson Jones, M.B. Lamar, and David G. Burnet), and a colored map printed on the verso of the front wrapper showing the Sunset Route and identifying the counties of the region.