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Tasked by an act of the Congress of the Republic of Texas to survey Matagorda Bay, county surveyor James H. Selkirk recorded this working legal document for the General Land Office. Each tract surveyed indicates the original land grant holder’s name and the size of the grant in varas, a Spanish land measurement equaling roughly 33 1/3 inches. Selkirk decorated his map with an ornate title and cartouche.