Take a closer look at just a few of the many treasures found in the Texas General Land Office Archives.
Austin's Colony Map, #1943
Commenced by Stephen F. Austin, 1833
81 x 87 (inches)
One of the most treasured maps in the Archives, this very large map (81" x 87") was commenced in 1833 by Stephen F. Austin and John Borden, the first Commissioner of the General Land Office. Borden traveled the countryside, visiting homes, farms and ranches to collect records relating to Texas land. The records eventually became the Archives of the General Land Office. The work was completed in 1837 by J. F. Perry.
The map was conserved in 2002 with donation from Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP and may be seen by appointment at the General Land Office headquarters in Austin.
Blanco County Map, #3304
Published by The Texas General Land Office
1871 | 22.1 x 17.2 (inches)
Stephen F. Austin's Map, #2114 | Published by H. S. Tanner, 1837 | 31.5 x 24.9 (inches)
Stephen F. Austin's Map, #2114
Published by H. S. Tanner
1837 | 31.5 x 24.9 (inches)
Long-lost letters shed new light on Texas Navy
First-hand accounts of piracy, heroism archived at the General Land Office
The Texas Navy was pressed into service in January 1836 - just months before the newborn Republic declared independence from Mexico. By August 1837 all four ships were lost, as was the reputation of the ragtag flotilla of privateers and U.S. Navy veterans.
Captain Silas Dinsmore orders from Secretary of the Navy Robert Potter
Moses E. Morrell letter describing his service on the Invincible.
Correspondence archived at the General Land Office casts new light on the lives of six men seen as pirates by some and heroes of the revolution by others. The letters were pulled from files containing testimony from men who fought in the Texas Revolution seeking land grants for their service. The letters were found after archivists began searching for files under the names of men from an old Texas Navy muster roll.
The short history of the first Texas Navy was marked by both success and scandal. The men who signed up to serve on the four ocean-going ships purchased by the provisional government can be credited with protecting supply lines from New Orleans and defending the Texas coast from Mexican invasion. The Texas Navy also brought in much needed revenue for the cash-strapped republic, by raiding ships and towns on the Gulf of Mexico.