David Burr's Maps of Texas

Tracing Texas's transition from Mexican state to American state

Print Page

David Burr's maps of Texas show how the state changed between 1833 and 1845. The earlier map, published several years before the Texas Revolution, shows Texas as part of Mexico while the later map from 1845 shows Texas as it was poised to join the United States.

David Burr (1803–1875) was a New York based cartographer in the mid–1800s. He was not trained as a cartographer, but began working in the surveying division as part of the New York State Militia. He created several pivotal maps of New York and went on to create maps of the rest of the United States, including these two maps of Texas.

Burr's first map of Texas, published in 1833, depicts 17 empresario grants and lists each grant's contract dates and number of families to be introduced. The map also shows grants in the Texas Panhandle, a small section of land reserved for the Shawnee along the Red River, and a navigational chart of Galveston Bay. The map originally belonged to Bernard Scherer, who purchased it in New York before settling in Austin's Colony in 1833.

By the time Burr published his second map of Texas in 1845, the region had gone through many changes. No longer part of Mexico, as shown in the 1833 map, Texas had declared itself an independent Republic and was on the verge of joining the United States. The later map is divided into land grants and newly formed counties. The map's original owner, John C. Erenpatsch, used it as a reference while investing in the Galveston Bay and Texas Land Company. Erenpatsch underlined lands in east Texas that he targeted as an investment opportunity.

See this and other artifacts on the Interactive Texas Map

David Burr's Maps of Texas Artifact from Houston
Browse All Stories

Read stories from people across Texas

Browse All Stories