Mapping and Empire
Soldier-Engineers on the Southwestern Frontier
Publication Year: 2005
Published by: University of Texas Press
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The editors would like to thank the contributors to the book for participating in the First Biennial Virginia Garrett Lectures on the History of Cartography in October 1998 and revising their lectures for publication in this volume. Special thanks goes to Richard Francaviglia, our colleague at theUniversity of Texas at Arlington and director of the Center for Greater...
Introduction (Richard V. Francaviglia)
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One of the many ironies in southwestern history relates to the changing position of Texas in the region’s history and scholarship. A poorly explored backwater during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Texas long remained terra incognita to Spain—until, that is, the French showed...
Chapter One: Spanish Maritime Charting of the Gulf of Mexico and the California Coast
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Iberia, as direct heir of Greek and Arabic geometry, algebra, astronomy, navigation, and naval architecture, initiated the development of modern cartography. Catal
Chapter Two: Spanish Military Engineers in the New World before 1750
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The idea of the ‘‘engineer’’ goes back far into European history. In Latin the word was ingeniator, in Middle English engyneour, and in Old French engigneor. All these persons would have had something to do with ‘‘engines,’’ which were often machines used in warfare. So the engineer was thought of in medieval times primarily as somebody skilled in the art of...
Chapter Three: Spanish Military Mapping of the Northern Borderlands after 1750
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The era of the latter half of the eighteenth century to Mexican independence in 1821 was a dynamic period in the history of Spain, its NewWorld empire, and especially the northern borderlands of the North American Greater Southwest.1With the occupations of Texas, Alta California, parts...
Chapter Four: U.S. Army Military Mapping of the American Southwest during the Nineteenth Century
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‘‘Accurate geographical and topographical knowledge of a country are particularly essential to military operations. They are the eyes of the commanding general.’’ 1 This statement was never more valid than when Colonel John J. Abert wrote it in 1848 with the Southwestern Frontier in mind...
Chapter Five: Henry Washington Benham: A U.S. Army Engineer's View of the U.S.-Mexican War
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The night of February 22, 1847, was cold and miserable on the broken plains of Mexico some six miles south of Saltillo, the provincial capital of Coahuila. An intermittent rain fell, and the chilling temperatures braced the armies in the field. Henry Washington Benham, a lieutenant in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, was anxious and excited at the same time....
Chapter Six: Trabajos Desconocidos, Ingenieros Olvidados: Unknown Works and Forgotten Engineers of the Mexican Boundary Commission
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‘‘It is a pity that the works on our boundary line with the United States remain unknown and forgotten—that nothing is published about them, when both for their extent and their accuracy, they are among the best works that the country owes to our engineers, and could be of great benefit...
Chapter Seven: Soldier-Engineers in the Geographic Understanding of the Southwestern Frontier: An Afterthought
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The preceding pages have provided a wide range of accounts and syntheses regarding the 350-year effort of Spanish and United States soldier engineers to understand and to map the vast and imposing Southwestern region that became parts of the United States and northern Mexico. As...
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Page Count: 232
Illustrations: 52 b&w illus., 12 color maps, 3 tables
Publication Year: 2005