In Search of the Elusive Corner
By Jim Tiller and John P. Evans, Jr.
Tiller and Evans provide a fascinating compendium of historical sources illuminating the surveying and mapping of the Texas-Louisiana-Arkansas boundary from the early nineteenth century to the present. This volume offers a treasure of riches for readers interested in locality and the technological, scientific, and hands-on business of geographic demarcation in a region of uncertain and often contested boundaries.
455 pp., 8.5 x 11.5, maps, figures, photographs, appendixes, endnotes, bibliography, index.
Published by the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, 2017.
Praise for Evolution of the Texas-Louisiana Boundary: In Search of the Elusive Corner:
Jim Tiller and John P. Evans, Jr., provide a fascinating compendium of historical sources illuminating the surveying and mapping of the Texas-Louisiana-Arkansas boundary from the early nineteenth century to the present. This volume offers a treasure of riches for readers interested in locality and the technological, scientific, and hands-on business of geographic demarcation in a region of uncertain and often contested boundaries.We learn of U.S. mapping of the Texas-Louisiana frontier after the Louisiana Purchase, Mexican surveying by General Mier y Terán during his expedition to Texas of 1828, and the Joint Boundary Commission of 1839-1841 conducted through representatives of both the Republic of Texas and the United States. Tiller and Evans show us that boundary-making was a vital matter to persons and groups with an immediate stake in jurisdictional lines. Thanks to Tiller and Evans, we now have a meticulous and illustrative record of how mapping and boundary-making evolved in a vital corner of Texas whose historical geography was shaped by local and continental forces.
~David Narrett, author of Adventurism and Empire: The Struggle for Master in the Louisiana-Florida Borderlands, 1762-1803 (University of North Carolina Press, 2014)
The phrase “Easier said than done” might be applied to establishing practical artificial borders and boundaries. In the past, this process often took years to complete and was easily subject to error. Anyone with an interest in the history of maps and surveying will find Jim Tiller and John P. Evans, Jr.’s well-researched study and thorough analysis of the establishment and maintenance of Texas’ little-understood eastern boundary and Louisiana’s western boundary a rewarding read. The appendixes alone are an outstanding compilation of hitherto hard-to-find information, including transcripts of journals, relevant letters, manuscript and printed maps, government documents, and photographs illustrating surveying tools and various border markers from a variety of sources. The authors’ well-reasoned text along with Nancy Tiller’s excellent modern maps elucidate a complicated subject with great precision and clarity.
~Ben Huseman, author of The Price of Manifest Destiny: Maps Relating to Wars in the Southwest Borderlands, 1800-1866 (University of Texas at Arlington Library, 2014)
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