City of New York.
1854 (dated 1850) 16 x 13 in (40.64 x 33.02 cm)
1 : 65000
One of the more attractive atlas maps of New York City to appear in the mid-19th century, this is a beautiful example of Samuel Augustus Mitchell's 1854 map of southern Manhattan. The map depicts southern Manhattan from 37th street (Kips Bay) south to Battery Park and Brooklyn from Williamsburg to Columbia St. Mitchell offers wonderful detail at the street level including references to parks, individual streets, piers, ferries, and important buildings. Color coded with red, green, and yellow pastels according to political divisions. An index of churches, hotels, markets, squares, public buildings etc. is included along the left and right borders. The whole is engraved and colored in Mitchell's distinctive style with green border work and vivid pastels.
This map was prepared by S. A. Mitchell for publication as plate no. 11 in the 1854 edition of Mitchell's New General Atlas.
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 and Mitchell's General Atlas. By about 1856 most of the Mitchell copyrights were bought by Charles Desilver who continued to publish his 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 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, S. A., A New Universal Atlas Containing Maps of the various Empires, Kingdoms, States and Republics Of The World, (Thomas Cowperthwait & Co., Philadelphia) 1854.
The New Universal Atlas is one of the great American atlases of the mid-19th century. Samuel Augustus Mitchell first issued the atlas in 1846 when he acquired the map plates and copyright for Tanner's New Universal Atlas from its publisher, Carey and Hart. The first transitional 1846 edition was published jointly with Carey and Hart, but a second edition was published in the same year with the Tanner imprint erased. This edition of the atlas also introduced the signature S. A. Mitchell green and pink color scheme. Most of the maps from the early editions of the atlas were engraved by H. N. Burroughs or C. S. Williams, often bearing their copyright. Burroughs maps also tended to have what map collector David Rumsey refers to as the 'Cary and Hart' borders, which featured a narrow vine motif. These borders were replaced, along with the Burroughs imprint, with the more traditional Mitchell strap work border used in the atlases until 1856. Mitchell published editions until late in 1850, when he sold the rights to Thomas, Cowperthwait and Company of Philadelphia. Under Cowperthwait, the atlases continued to be published and bear the Mitchell name until 1856, when it the plates were again sold, this time to Charles Desilver. Desilver reworked the plates with new border art and a revised color scheme in the style of J. H. Colton. Desilver issued editions from 1857 to 1860, when the atlas was phased out in favor of Samuel Augustus Mitchell Jr.'s New General Atlas.
Very good. Some light foxing. Blank on verso.
Rumsey 0537.012 (1846 edition). Phillips (Atlases) 6103-11. Haskell, D. C., Manhattan Maps: A Co-operative List, 901.