1862 Johnson Map of Richmond, Virginia and Vicinity (Peninsular Campaign)
Description: This is a rare and important 1862 Johnson and Ward map of the vicinity of Richmond, Virginia, during the American Civil War. The map shows the Union advance during the Peninsular Campaign of the American Civil War, including considerable detail ranging from nautical depth soundings to individual buildings, wells, and bridges.
The Peninsula Campaign (also known as the Peninsular Campaign) of the American Civil War was a major Union operation launched in southeastern Virginia from March through July 1862 and the first large-scale offensive in the eastern Theater. The operation, commanded by Major General George B. McClellan, was an amphibious turning movement against the Confederate Army in northern Virginia, intended to capture the Confederate capital of Richmond. McClellan was initially successful against the equally cautious General Joseph E. Johnston, but the arrival of the bold and aggressive General Robert E. Lee turned the subsequent Seven Days Battles into a humiliating Union defeat.
It is extremely rare to find this map in good condition as it fully occupied its page in the Johnson's atlas, lacking space for substantial protective margins. Consequently any edge damage, common in old Johnson atlases, invariably severely impacted the map itself. The map is dated and copyrighted 'Entered according to Act of Congress in the Year 1862 by J. Knowles Hare in the Clerks Office of the District Court of the United States of the Southern District of New York', and was printed by Johnson and Ward in the scarce 1863 Civil War edition of Johnson's Family Atlas.
Date: 1862 (dated)
Source: Johnson and Ward, Johnson's New Illustrated (Steel Plate) Family Atlas, (1863 edition).
References: Rumsey 0535.024. Philips (atlases) 4345.
Cartographer: Alvin Jewett Johnson (September 23, 1827 - April 22, 1884) was a prolific American map publisher active from 1856 to the mid-1880s. Johnson was born into a poor family in Wallingford, Vermont where he received only a based public education. He is known to have worked as school teacher for several years before moving to Richmond, Virginia. Johnson got his first taste of the map business and a salesman and book canvasser for J. H. Colton and company. The earliest Johnson maps were published with D. Griffing Johnson (no clear relation) and date to the mid-1850s, however it was not until 1860 that the Johnson firm published its first significant work, the Johnson's New Illustrated (Steel Plate) Family Atlas. The publication of the Family Atlas followed a somewhat mysterious 1859 deal with the well-established but financially strapped J. H. Colton cartographic publishing firm. Although map historian Water Ristow speculates that Colton sold his copyrights to Johnson and his business partner, another Vermonter named Ross C. Browning (1832 - 1899), a more likely theory is that Johnson and Browning financially supported the Colton firm in exchange for the right to use Colton's existing copyrighted map plates. Regardless of which scenario actually occurred it is indisputable that the first Johnson atlas maps were mostly reissues of earlier Colton maps. Early on Johnson described his firm as the "Successors to J. H. Colton and Company". Johnson's business strategy involved transferring the original Colton steel plate engravings to cheaper lithographic stones, allowing his firm to produce more maps at a lower price point. In 1861, following the outbreak of the American Civil War the Johnson and Browning firm moved their office from Richmond, Virginia to New York City. Johnson and Browning published two editions of the Johnson Atlas in 1860 and 1861. Sometime in 1861 Browning's portion of the firm was purchased by Benjamin P. Ward, whose name subsequently replaced Browning's on the imprint. The 1863 issue of the Family Atlas was one of the most unusual, it being a compilation of older Johnson and Browning maps, updated 1862 Johnson and Ward map issues, and newer 1863 maps with a revised border design. The 1864 issue of the Family Atlas is the first true Johnson and Ward atlas. Johnson published one more edition of the atlas in partnership with Ward in 1865, after which Johnson seems to have bought out Ward's share the firm. The next issue of the Atlas, 1866, is the first purely "Johnson" atlas with all new map plates, updated imprints, and copyrights. The Family Atlas went through roughly 27 years of publication, from 1860 to 1887, outliving Johnson himself who died in 1884. Johnson maps from the Family Atlas are notable for their unique borders, of which there are four different designs, the "strapwork borer" from 1860 to 1863, the "fretwork border" from 1863 to 1869 and the "spirograph border" in 1870 Ė 1882, and a more elaborate version of the same from 1880-1887. In addition to the Family Atlas Johnson issued numerous wall maps, pocket maps, and in the 1880s the Cyclopedia. Johnson maps are known for their size, accuracy, detail, and stunning, vivid hand coloring. Johnson maps, purely American in their style and execution, chronicle some of the most important and periods in American history including the Civil War, the Westward Expansion, and the Indian Wars. Today Johnson's maps, especially those of the American west, are highly sought after by map collectors and historians. Click here for a list of rare maps by A. J. Johnson.
Size: Printed area measures 27 x 18 inches (68.58 x 45.72 centimeters)
Scale: 1 : 189000
Condition: Very good. Overall age toning. Some spotting at a few places, especially near centerfold. Original centerfold exhibits minor wear and verso repair.
Code: Richmond-johnson-1863 (to order by phone call: 646-320-8650)
Tags: Johnson , Battle Map , American Civil War Map