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1864 Mitchell Map of North America

Map of North America showing its Political Divisions, and Recent Discoveries in the Polar Regions. - Main View

1864 Mitchell Map of North America



Map of North America showing its Political Divisions, and Recent Discoveries in the Polar Regions.
  1860 (dated)     14 x 11 in (35.56 x 27.94 cm)


A beautiful example of S. A. Mitchell Jr.'s 1864 map of North America. Depicts the entire continent along with Greenland, Central America, Iceland, and the West Indies. Notes the routes of various arctic explorers including Dr. Kane in the northeast and Captain McClure in the Northwest. In 1853 McClure, an English captain, claimed to have discovered the long sought after northwest passage. Despite the fact that he lost his ship, the Investigator, in the ice packs of the Arctic and that he had to be rescued himself by the Resolute, McClure was the first to successfully travel west to east through the Arctic, no mean feat at the time. One of the most attractive atlas maps of this region to appear in the mid 19th century. Features the floral border typical of Mitchell maps from the 1860-65 period. Prepared by W. Williams for inclusion as plate 3 in the 1864 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 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's New General Atlas, containing Maps of the Various Countries of the World, Plans of Cities, Etc., Embraced in Fifty-three Quarto Maps, forming a series of Eighty-Four Map and Plans, together with Valuable Statistical Tables. (1864 Edition)    


Very good condition. Blank on verso.


Rumsey 0565.003 (1860 edition). Phillips (Atlases) 831-16. New York Public Library, Map Division, 1510799.