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Mapping Outrage!

The controversial map - well, controversial to cartographers, anyway (1858, LOC).

This looks like a normal map from 1858! Then why was there an outrage about this map that landed in the newspapers? Read on to learn more!

Y'all know how much we love maps at Red River Historian, and how our eagle eyes love to ferret out inaccuracies. Looking at maps critically and pointing out the errors is apparently a hobby that others have historically indulged in as well, like fair Mr. Wickeland, who in 1858 wrote a scornful letter to The Texas Republican (Marshall, Texas), complaining about the "many errors and inaccuracies" in the Richardson's Map of the State of Texas.

Below is the newspaper article where you can read his letter and then check out the map in full at the Library of Congress to corroborate his claims. Because, well, why not?

Then, you can check out the same map, new and improved, in 1861. Apparently the mapmakers realized the errors of their ways (get it?) and made corrections.

Here's Richardson's Map, corrected and published in 1861, courtesy David Rumsey:

Lastly, check out the northwest corner of the 1861 map to look at its credits. What (who) do you see?

This letter of Mr. Wickland's outrage was published in the Texas Republican (Marshall, Texas) on December 3, 1858.

Newspaper article
A continuation of the letter... (Texas Republican, Marshall, Texas, Dec 3 1858).

... and more outrage! (Texas Republican, Marshall, Texas Dec 3 1858).

Newspaper article
H. Wickeland respectfully does not recommend this map! (Texas Republican, Marshall, Texas Dec 3 1858).

Map excerpt
The 1861 map was corrected, with credit to H. Wickeland (David Rumsey).

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