ARROWSMITH, Aaron (1750-1823) and Samuel LEWIS
A New and Elegant General Atlas. Comprising all the new discoveries, to the present time. Containing sixty three maps, drawn by Arrowsmith and Lewis.
Boston: Published by Thomas & Andrews, May, 1812. Quarto. (10 5/8 x 9 inches). Letterpress title (verso blank), 1p. list of maps (verso blank). 63 engraved maps (2 folding).
Expertly bound to style in calf-backed contemporary marbled paper-covered boards, flat spine in six compartments divided by fillets, lettered in the second compartment
Provenance: Henry Roice (contemporary signature on the front pastedown)
Nice copy of a scarce early American atlas, with an important early mapping of the American West.
The first edition of this atlas was published in Philadelphia in 1804. American mapmaker Samuel Lewis had formed a partnership with English mapmaker Aaron Arrowsmith to publish an atlas to accompany editions of Morse's American Geography, which had been criticized for its poor illustrations. The atlas, as the title page infers, was a separate production could be used with any gazetteer or geographical work. Phillips lists further editions of 1805, 1812 and 1819. According to Ristow, all editions contain the same maps. Almost half of the maps in the atlas are of American interest: in addition to the two folding world maps at the front, maps 29-59 are of the Americas, with maps 31-50 being of individual States or Territories. Of note are four maps of importance to the American West, titled: North America, Louisiana, British Possessions in America and Spanish Possessions in North America (cf. Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West 259, 260, 261 & 262). The map titled Louisiana, which is based on the Soulard mapping, is of particular importance, depicting the region west of the Mississippi explored by Lewis and Clark. "The Samuel Lewis map was the primary map of the newly purchased territory of Louisiana and its surroundings and, as such, reflected the shaped American popular geographical images of the western interior at the time of Lewis and Clark" (Mapping the West, p. 80).
Phillips, Atlases 718; Ristow pp.265-266; Rumsey 2436 (1804 first edition).