Ranger Canyon Press
PO Box 161382Austin, Texas 78716(512) email@example.com
See, vast trackless spaces,As in a dream they change, they swiftly fill,Countless masses debouch upon themThey are now cover'd with the foremost people,arts, institutions, known. Walt WhitmanLeaves of Grass
Mapwork of Ranger Canyon Press
The map idea has exerted a hold on the human imagination as long as humans have communicated a sense of this place here, where we are now, as opposed to that spot over there. Space and spatial relations, defined in the three dimensions we call length, width, and thickness, when combined with our modern concept of duration (time), equal an existence in our minds to which most phenomena can be analogized, equated, or mapped out. This is the reason cartography exists; to develop expressions of space and time relatedness, and to convey these concepts symbolically on maps.
Thus, mapping becomes a fundamental way of converting personal knowledge to transmittable knowledge. Good maps exist, like good art and cinema, as surrogates of time and space which exhibit the continuum of human experience. They can be sensitive indicators of the changing thought processes of humans, and represent an excellent window into the makers perceptions of their culture, civilization, the world, and the beyond.
In Texas, evidence supporting this thesis abounds: Along the Devil’s River, in Val Verde County, early aboriginal artists decorated their cave shelters with glyphs depicting long vanished water holes and kill sites. North of Paint Rock, Texas, on the canyon walls of the Concho River where their allies, enemies, and ancestors had recorded their triumphs and tragedies for almost three thousand years, a Comanche raiding party left a pictographic record of their 1758 destruction of the Spanish Mission Santa Cruz on the San Saba River (present-day Menard).
Maps of the strange new land to the north, usually prepared by the Padres who accompanied the expeditions, tell us much about the Texas found by the earliest Spanish explorers. Small crosses, incised in stone, give mute testimony in places wild and silent even today that “Pasaron por aquí” (they passed here).
In the 1820’s, when Stephen F. Austin arrived in Texas, one of his primary aims was to produce a comprehensive survey of his colony, and a useful map of all Texas for the government of his adopted country, Mexico. This map, printed in Philadelphia in 1830, inspired a host of cartographers to produce maps of their own and set the tome for most of the maps published about Texas until well into the 1840’s.
Some have called all maps, particularly highly complex modern maps, physiographic and informational glyphs which expand the real, and imagined, human environment. They tend to define our home turf, and record places we have been, remote-sensed, or physically sent our machines. As with the cave walls, in the beginning, the appropriate combination of glyphs and pictures, symbols, numbers, and colors can connect people to other spots in space and time. This is the magic of a good map.
To display the multiplicity of the physical, cultural, and historic texture of Texas in 1836 (Revolutionary Texas), in 1845 (The Republic of Texas), and in 1986 (Sesquicentennial Texas), is the aim of Ranger Canyon Press, located in Austin.
The three map set was commissioned especially to promote awareness of, and public interest in, Texas’ celebration of 150 years of independence during 1985-86. Also, it is hoped the maps, or illustrated glyphs if you like, will serve as useful guides to anybody learning about Texas past or present.
It is the sincere wish of each person involved in the creation of these images of Texas that every viewer enjoy their experience with the maps as much as we enjoyed ours in making them.