The 'Land of Milk and Honey' Map
you ever thought about that expression, 'The Land of Milk and Honey?'
What does it really mean? Most people will say, 'the promised land,' or
'a land of abundance,' but let's go deeper than that.
Milk we get from domesticated cattle. Obvious, right? And most people know there were none here before the Europeans came.
about honey? You may not know that honey bees are not native to the
Americas. They arrived on the Eastern seaboard with English settlers in
the 1600s. The bees were actually better colonizers than the English,
always being about fifty miles ahead of white settlement.
So the 'Land of Milk and Honey,' was not an unspoiled wilderness. It was a tamed land. Civilization. Terra domesticus.
That is what Jeremiah Greenleaf's 1840 Map of Texas shows: the tamed land, that 'Land of Milk and Honey,' (the thirty oldest counties) and the wilds beyond.
The Mysterious Mr. Greenleaf
the world of map collecting, cartographers are celebrated like rock
stars, so it's rare that one of them has not been thoroughly researched.
Greenleaf is that rare bird. Little is known about him in cartography
circles. He arrives on the scene as a publisher of maps and atlases
about 1830 and after 1848 we hear no more of him. A few things are
certain though: his works are stunning, in high demand and expensive.
We decided to dig around in some non-cartographic sources and were able
to learn that he was born in Brattleboro, Vermont in 1791. He fought in
the War of 1812 and was married to his cousin.
Besides being a cartographer, he was the author of a number works on
English grammar. In Vermont this made him something of a celebrity. It's
hard to understand New Englanders.
But it's easy to understand why collectors love Greenleaf's 1840 Map of Texas. It is a tour-de-force of line and color.
is one of the first maps to delinate the individual counties, showing
the thirty earliest. Texas was eventually divided into 254 counties in
order to make this vast area manageable.
And that is the number of copies in this limited edition: 254.