A beautiful example of the legendary American map publisher Samuel Augustus Mitchell Jr.'s 1860 map of South America. Depicts the whole continent from Panama to Cape Horn, it includes the Falkland and South Georgia island groups in considerable detail. Mitchell offers limited but 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.' Work on the Panama Canal would begin in 1880 and be completed in 1914.
This map also identifies various cities, towns, rivers and an assortment of additional topographical details. Color coded according to political boundaries with elevation rendered by hachure. One of the more attractive American atlas maps of this region to appear in the mid-19th century. Prepared by S.A. Mitchell for inclusion as plate no. 45 in the 1860 issue of Mitchell's New General Atlas. Dated and copyrighted, 'Entered according to Act of Congress in the Year 1860 by S. Augustus Mitchell Jr. in the Clerks Office of the District Court for the eastern District of Pennsylvania.'
Samuel Augustus Mitchell (March 20, 1792 - December 20, 1868) 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 either partnered with or sold his plates to Thomas, Cowperthwait and Company who continued to publish the Mitchell's Universal Atlas. By about 1856 most of the Mitchell plates and copyrights were acquired by Charles Desilver who continued to publish the maps, many with modified borders and color schemes, until Mitchell's son, Samuel Augustus Mitchell Junior, entered the picture. In 1859, S.A. Mitchell Jr. purchased most of the plates back from Desilver and introduced his own floral motif border. From 1860 on, he published his own editions of the New General Atlas. The younger Mitchell became as prominent as his father, publishing maps and atlases until 1887, when most of the copyrights were again sold and the Mitchell firm closed its doors for the final time.
Mitchell, S. A., Mitchell's New General Atlas, 1860.
Very good. Minor spotting here and there.
Rumsey 0565.029. Phillips (Atlases) 831-45. New York Public Library, Map Division, 1510824.