William Mitchell |
(December 20, 1791 – April 19, 1868)
William Mitchell (December 20, 1791 - April 19, 1868) was an American born Quaker, astronomer and surveyor based in Nantucket, Massachusetts. Mitchell attended various private schools on Nantucket Island and for a time planned to study at Harvard. However, for unknown reasons, possibly fiscal limitations relating to the War of 1812, these plans never materialized. Ultimately, Mitchell took responsibility for his own education and made extensive studies in astronomy, surveying, and mathematics. When the U.S. Coast Survey arrived on the island in 1847, Mitchell became fast friends with A. D. Bache, Superintendent of the Survey. The two became lifelong friends and Mitchell's comments and research appears in several editions of the Superintendent's annual Report. Mitchell's most important cartographic work is his 1838 map of Nantucket. This map, which includes Tuckernuck Island, eventually made its way into the U. S. Coast survey where it was a fixture for nearly 10 years. Mitchell was survived by a son, Henry Mitchell, and daughter, Maria Mitchell. Henry became a prominent Hydrographer with the U.S. Coast Survey and is responsible for many important maps and charts. Maria Mitchell, following in her father's footsteps, became an astronomer of international acclaim, eclipsing the rest of her family in prominence. She was eventually accepted an appointment as Professor of Astronomy at Vassar College, in Poughkeepsie, NY. It was here, under the care of his ever-devoted daughter that William Mitchell passed away in 1868. Click here for a list of rare maps by William Mitchell.
Rare maps by William Mitchell currently for sale.
Rare maps by William Mitchell in the Geographicus Antique Map Archive.