chapter
A—Z Entries
Pages 472

As a twenty-four-year-old lieutenant in the United States Army Corps of Topographical Engineers, James William Abert was chosen by John Charles Frémont to command the surveying team that explored and mapped the Canadian River, providing the United States government in 1845 with the first comprehensive map of north Texas. Of equal interest to historians is the written and illustrated report Abert appended to his map. His writing is precise and engaging, showcasing a sharp eye for natural history as well as a talent for amateur ethnography. His portraits of members of the Kiowa and Comanche tribes are carefully drawn, and the illustrations accompanying his descriptions of the flora of the southwest are clear and beautiful.