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1866 Mitchell Map of Mexico and the West Indies

Map of Mexico, Central America, and the West Indies. - Main View

1866 Mitchell Map of Mexico and the West Indies



Map of Mexico, Central America, and the West Indies.
  1866 (dated 1860)     13.5 x 21.5 in (34.29 x 54.61 cm)


A fine example of Mitchell's 1866 map of Mexico, Central America, and the West Indies. Centered on New Orleans, this map covers all of Mexico, the West Indies, the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea, the Greater and Lesser Antilles, the northern parts of South America, and the southern parts of the United States including all of Texas and Florida. The whole is color coded at the state and province level. This map notes important nautical routes from New Orleans to various popular destinations including, San Francisco, Tampico, the Rio Grande, Veracruz, Panama, and Havana. Features the floral border typical of Mitchell maps issued between 1860 and 1865. Features four inset maps. The two maps in the lower left quadrant depict the Island of Jamaica and the Island of Cuba. The two maps in the upper right quadrant feature the Bermuda Islands and the Isthmus of Panama (Panama Railroad). It is interesting to note that this map was not updated from the original 1860 issue to reflect the partitioning of New Mexico and Arizona in 1864. Mitchell may have used the left over printings of the 1860 issue of this map to populate his atlases until the late-1860s when he finally updated the plate. All in all, one of the most attractive American atlas maps of the world to appear in the mid-19th century. Prepared by S. A. Mitchell for inclusion as plate nos. 48-52 in the 1866 issue of Mitchell's New General Atlas. Dated and copyrighted, 'Entered according to Act of Congress in the Year 1860 by S. A. Mitchell Jr. in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the U.S. for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.'


Samuel Augustus Mitchell (March 20, 1792 - December 20, 1868) began his map publishing career in the early 1830s. Mitchell was born in Bristol, Connecticut. He relocated to Philadelphia in 1821. Having worked as a school teacher and a geographical writer, 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. More by this mapmaker...


Mitchell Jr., S. A., Mitchell's New General Atlas, containing Maps of the Various Countries of the World Plans of Cities, Etc. Embraced in Fifty-Five Quarto Maps. Forming a series of Eighty-Seven Maps and Plans. Together with Valuable Statistical Tables., (Philadelphia) 1866.    


Very good condition. Some wear on original centerfold. Else clean.


Rumsey 0565.028 (1860 edition). Phillips (Atlases) 831-40. New York Public Library, Map Division, 1510823.