1850 Mitchell Map of New York City

City of New-York.

1850 Mitchell Map of New York City


One of the most attractive American atlas maps of New York City to appear in the mid-19th century.

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City of New-York.
  1850 (undated)    15.75 x 12.5 in (40.005 x 31.75 cm)


This hand colored map of New York City is a lithograph engraving, dating to 1850 by the American mapmaker S.A. Mitchell Sr. The map epicts the island of Manhattan from 37th street (Kips Bay) south to Battery Park and Brooklyn from Williamsburg to Columbia St. The whole is shown in magnificent detail with many important buildings, ranging from the Brooklyn Naval Yard to important hotels and churches, depicted and labeled. One of the most visually appealing maps of New York City to emerge from the workshops of a mid-19th century American 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.


Mitchell Sr., S. A.,A New Universal Atlas Containing Maps of the various Empires, Kingdoms, States and Republics Of The World. (1850 issue)    


Very good condition. Blank on verso. Minor toning in the lower right quadrant - see image. A few marginal verso repairs of closed tears. Else a clean example.


Rumsey 0537.012. Phillips (Atlases) 6103-11. Haskell, D. C., Manhattan Maps: A Co-operative List, 901.