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1863 Johnson Military Map of the United States


Johnson's New Military Map of the United States showing the Forts, Military Posts etc. with enlarged plans of Southern Harbors from Authentic Data Obtained at the War Department Washington.
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Price: $400.00
Title:    Johnson's New Military Map of the United States showing the Forts, Military Posts etc. with enlarged plans of Southern Harbors from Authentic Data Obtained at the War Department Washington.

Description:    Printed at the height of the American Civil War, this is a fine example of Johnson's 1863 Military Map of the United States. Created at the height of the American Civil War, this map was issued by Johnson in order to capitalize on the general interest in the War. This is the more desirable of the two extant variants of this map. This variant, showing a layout of the states rather than military zones, offers a wonderful insight into the political situation shortly following the outbreak of the American Civil War. Shows the various states and territories along with several hundred forts and other military installations.

Johnson issued various editions of his Military Map, this being the scarcest and most historically significant due to is rendering of the large Idaho Territory before its eastern parts were ceded to Montana and Dakota Territories in 1864. Arizona extends westward into what is today the Las Vegas region of Nevada while Dakota and Virginia remain singular. Oklahoma is still named the Indian Territory.

The map is surrounded on the bottom and right by views of important southern harbors, including Baltimore, Washington D.C., Hampton Roads and Norfolk Harbor, Charleston Harbor, the Savannah River, Key West, Pensacola Bay, Mobile Bay, and New Orleans with the Delta of the Mississippi. Features the fretwork style border common to Johnson's atlas work from 1863 to 1869. Published by Johnson and Ward as plate nos. 20-21 in the scarce 1863 edition of Johnson's Family Atlas. This is the second edition of the Johnson atlas to bear the Johnson and Ward imprint.


Date:    1863 (undated)

Source:    Johnson and Ward, Johnson's New Illustrated (Steel Plate) Family Atlas, (1863 edition).    

References:    Rumsey 0352.017. Philips (Atlases) 843. Lourie, Ira, Johnson Map Project, New Military Map of the United States 5.0.

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 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 24 x 17.5 inches (60.96 x 44.45 centimeters)

Scale:    1 : 10000000

Condition:    Very good. Minor wear along original fold lines. Some spotting at places. Text on verso.

Code:   UnitedStates-johnson-1863 (to order by phone call: 646-320-8650)

Tags:    Johnson , American Civil War , Battle Map

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