MITCHELL, Samuel Augustus (1792-1868)
A New Universal Atlas Containing Maps of the various Empires, Kingdoms, States and Republics of the World. With a special map of each of the United States, Plans of Cities &c.
Philadelphia: Thomas, Cowperthwait & Co, 1852. Folio. (17 x 13 3/4 inches). Chromolithographic title with large vignette, hand-coloured frontispiece of the heights of the principal mountains and lengths of the principal rivers, contents list printed in red, black and gold, 73 hand-coloured lithographed maps, charts and city plans (1 double-page).
Publisher's green marbled paper-covered boards with morocco title label elaborately tooled and lettered in gilt on upper cover, red morocco spine and corners expertly renewed to style. Modern red cloth box, morocco lettering piece
A fine copy of this famous atlas, with hand-coloured maps of all the individual States and Territories. The map of California shows counties in California and New Mexico for the first time.
Despite its title, the Atlas concentrates to a marked degree on the American continent with 43 maps of the area, including a fine double-page east-to-west-coast map of the United States.
S. Augustus Mitchell and his sons were the leading publishers of maps in the United States during most of the nineteenth century. Mitchell had come to Philadelphia around 1830 with the intention of improving the standard of geography textbooks, Philadelphia then being the leading city in America for cartographical publications. A New American Atlas , published in 1831, was his first work. In 1845 he acquired the rights to Tanner's New Universal Atlas (first published in 1836), and in 1846 he published his first edition of the present work. Mitchell continued to publish the atlas until 1850, when he sold the copyright to Cowperthwait & Co. of Philadelphia. Thomas, Cowperthwait & Company published it until the mid-1850s, when it was purchased by Charles De Silver. The Cowperthwait company continued to add, edit, alter and hand-colour the maps.
Phillips Atlases 807; cf. Ristow pp. 311-313; Rumsey p.239.