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1864 Mitchell Map of South America


Map of South America, showing its Political Divisions.
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Title:    Map of South America, showing its Political Divisions.

Description:    A beautiful example of S. A. Mitchell Jr.’s 1864 map of South America. Depicts the whole of the continent, including Panama, in considerable detail. Denotes both political and geographical details. Surprisingly accurate detail of the interior of Brazil and the Amazon Basin. An inset map in the lower right quadrant depicts the Isthmus of Panama entitled “Map Showing the Proposed Atrato-Inter-Oceanic Canal Routes, for Connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.” One of the most attractive American atlas maps of this region to appear in the mid 19th century. Features the floral border typical of Mitchell maps from the 1860-65 period. Prepared by W. Williams for inclusion as plate no. 53 in the 1864 issue of Mitchell’s New General Atlas. Dated and copyrighted, “Entered according to Act of Congress in the Year 1860 by S. Augustus Mitchell in the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of the U.S. for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.”

Date:    1860 (dated)

Source:    Mitchell's New General Atlas, containing Maps of the Various Countries of the World, Plans of Cities, Etc., Embraced in Fifty-three Quarto Maps, forming a series of Eighty-Four Map and Plans, together with Valuable Statistical Tables. (1864 Edition)    

References:    Rumsey 0565.029 (1860 edition). Phillips (Atlases) 831-45. New York Public Library, Map Division, 1510824.

Cartographer:    Samuel Augustus Mitchell (March 20, 1792 - December 20, 1868) Senior began his map publishing career in the early 1830s. Having worked as a school teacher, Mitchell was frustrated with the low quality and inaccuracy of school texts of the period. His first maps were an attempt to rectify this problem. In the next 20 years Mitchell would become the most prominent American map publisher of the mid-19th century. Mitchell worked with prominent engravers J. H. Young, H. S. Tanner, and H. N. Burroughs before attaining the full copyright on his maps in 1847. In 1849 Mitchell teamed up with printer Cowperthwait & Company to produce the Mitchell's Universal Atlas and the Mitchell's General Atlas. In the late 1850s most of the Mitchell copyrights were bought by Desilver and Co. who continued to publish his maps, many with modified borders and color schemes, until Mitchell's son, Samuel Augustus Mitchell Junior, entered the picture. S.A. Mitchell Jr. purchased most of the copyrights back from Desilver and, from 1860 on, published his own New General Atlas. The younger Mitchell became as prominent as his father and published atlases well into the late 1880s when most of the copyrights were again sold and the Mitchell firm closed its doors for the final time. Click here for a list of rare maps from Samuel Augustus Mitchell.

Size:   Printed area measures 10.75 x 13.5 inches (27.305 x 34.29 centimeters)

Condition:    Very good condition. Minor foxing. Blank on verso.

Code:   SouthAmerica-mitchell-1864 (to order by phone call: 646-483-0487)


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