BURR, David H. (1803-1875)
A New Universal Atlas; comprising separate maps of all the principal empires, kingdoms & states throughout the world, and forming a distinct atlas of the United States carefully compiled from the best authorities extant by David H. Burr. A new edition revised and corrected to the present time
New York: Wm. Hall & Co., 1836. Small folio. (15 x 12 1/4 inches). Engraved throughout, title, 1p. contents list, 63 hand-coloured engraved plates.
Expertly bound to style in dark blue half morocco over contemporary blue embossed cloth-covered boards, title panel blocked in gilt on upper cover, the flat spine divided into six compartments by single gilt fillets, lettered in gilt in the second compartment
A fine copy of this important work from one of the greatest early American cartographers.
David H. Burr was one of the great American mapmakers of the 19th century. Born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, he began his career leading a road survey through the southern counties of New York for the purpose of building a highway. This led to his being given, in 1829, the responsibility of revising Simeon De Witt's seminal New York State Map of 1804 (under De Witt's direction) to account for the considerable changes that had occurred over the last generation. This and the Atlas of the State of New York he published in 1829 established Burr's prominence in American cartography. The success of his State Atlas persuaded him to aim at a wider audience and publish a general atlas. Ristow states that Burr completed only eight of the 63 maps by 1832 when his involvement in the project was severely curtailed when he accepted the position of topographer for the United States Post Office Department. His maps were engraved by Thomas Illman and Edward Pillbrow and they took over the responsibility for finishing the work, although Burr retained an editorial role, and he was probably able to make use of his new position which gave him access to geographical material sent in from postmasters throughout the land. The present work was first published by D.S. Stone of New York City, under the title of A New Universal Atlas in 1835. The present second edition appeared in the following year.
Cf. Phillips Atlases 1379a (1835 edition); cf. Ristow p.106 (1835 edition); Rumsey 2849.