A New Map of Nth. Carolina with its Canals, Roads and Distances from place to place, along the Stage and Steam Boat Routes.
1849 (undated) 12.5 x 14.5 in (31.75 x 36.83 cm)
1 : 2400000
This is an important 1849 map of North Carolina by Samuel Augustus Mitchell. This map shows cities, topographical features, railways, ferries and roads with color coding at the county level. In addition to cartographic information this map is full of practical data for the armchair traveler including a profile of the Dismal Swamp Canal (an important trade artery in the region), a Table of Distances, and insets covering the vicinity of New Berne and the Carolina Gold Region.
Of particular interest is Mitchell's focus on the North Carolina gold region highlighted by an inset in the lower left quadrant. Gold was first discovered in Cabarrus County North Carolina in 1799 by twelve-year-old Conrad Reed. Reed discovered a seventeen-pound gold nugget setting off the first Gold Rush in the United States. Additional gold deposits were soon discovered in neighboring Montgomery, Stanly, Mecklenburg, Rowan and Union counties – many of which are labeled here with stars. The Carolina Gold Rush was a major factor in the settlement and population of the western parts of North Carolina.
Cartographically this map is based on the earlier work of Tanner though it has been updated with new information as well as Mitchell's distinctive decorative border and color scheme. This map was published in various forms and editions from 1846 to the late 1850s, when the series was completely redesigned Charles DeSilver. This map was issued in the 1849 edition of the New Universal Atlas, the last edition of that atlas to be published by Mitchell his late 1850 sale of the plates and rights to Thomas Cowperthwait.
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 copyrights were acquired 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 until 1887, 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, (S. A. Mitchell; Philadelphia) 1849.
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. Even overall toning.