Open space – a lot of it – is perhaps the defining characteristic of Texas. A frontier spirit is at the heart of the Texan identity. State archives showcase some of the diverse ways the Texas landscape has been described, defined, and celebrated.
U.S. and Mexican Boundary Survey, U.S. House of Representatives, 34th Congress, 1st Session. William H. Emory. Report on the U.S. and Mexican Boundary survey. (H. Ex. Doc 135). Washington: Government Printing Office, 1857. U.S. Documents Collection, U.S. Congressional Serial Set 861, 863.
After the annexation of Texas in 1846 and the 1847 U.S.-Mexican War, the Boundary Survey Commission reported on the southern boundary in one of the first systemic studies of the newly acquired territories’ topography and natural environment. Included are lithographed maps and plates of native birds, mammals, and fish. Selected by Maria Barker, Library Assistant; Angela Kent, Head Reference Librarian; and Mackenzie Ryan, Reference Librarian. Although it is sometimes overlooked by researchers, the Serial Set can yield surprising and interesting discoveries. Click or tap on thumbnails for larger images.
File number 260355, Abner Taylor to the Texas General Land Office, December 14, 1889, Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4, Back of Page 4, and draft of Charles W. Pressler’s response, Page 1. Texas General Land Office incoming correspondence, 2007/182.
Upon annexation Texas surrendered portions of its western and northern land claims. As Abner Taylor’s correspondence indicates, problems occurred while surveying the Texas-New Mexico border. Taylor, a member of the Capitol Syndicate, needed to know if portions of the XIT Ranch were actually in New Mexico. This correspondence and General Land Office chief draftsman Charles W. Pressler’s response summarize their findings. Selected by Anna Reznik, Archivist. These documents demonstrate the need to consult government records and employees in answering questions large and small. Click or tap on thumbnails and links for larger images.
This is a replica of the State of Texas Gold Medal of Honor awarded to Apollo 11 astronauts Neil A. Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin E. "Buzz" Aldrin Jr. by Governor Preston Smith on October 17, 1970. The Apollo 11 astronauts were the first humans to set foot on the moon on July 20, 1969. The dies for the medal and this replica were placed in the State Archives to commemorate the historic achievement. Selected by Rebecca Romanchuk, Archivist. The moon has fascinated me since childhood, and I hope we continue to respect and protect our closest celestial neighbor. Click or tap on thumbnail for larger image.
Presentation of medals to Apollo 11 astronauts, October 17, 1970. Agencies’ activities, Bill Malone materials, Current Events Photographic Documentation Program collection, 1971/022-043. Click or tap on thumbnail for larger image.
Panel Image. “A Lonely Home in Texas,” Our Indian summer in the far West. An autumn tour of fifteen thousand miles in Kansas, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, and the Indian Territory, 1880. TSLAC-Main Collection, 917.3 T666o 1880.
This book contains an account of the travels of two Londoners through America’s Western frontier with an eye toward future settlement and investment. It contains a diverse selection of albumen photographic prints documenting their journey. Selected by the Exhibits Committee. Click or tap on thumbnail for larger image.