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: Charles DeSilver, 1855. Folio. (17 x 14 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, 71 hand-coloured lithographed maps and charts (3 double-page) and 1 city plan.
Publisher's red half morocco with green marbled paper-covered boards, morocco title label elaborately tooled and lettered in gilt on upper cover. Modern red cloth box, dark red morocco lettering piece
A fine copy of this famous atlas, with hand-coloured maps of all the individual States and Territories. The first edition to have DeSilver as publisher, and here including 'A New Map of Nebraska, Kansas, New Mexico & the Indian Territories' for the first time: present here as an additional map, un-numbered and not called for in the contents list
Despite its title, the Atlas concentrates to a marked degree on the American continent with a city plan of Washington, D.C. and 42 maps of the area, including a fine double-page coast-to-coast map of the United States, and 30 maps of the States and Territories. The un-numbered map of Nebraska, Kansas, etc. is here bound between sheets numbered 37 and 38. 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 6118; cf. Ristow pp. 311-313; Rumsey pp.240-241.