1854 Mitchell Map of Ohio

A New Map of the State of Ohio. - Main View

1854 Mitchell Map of Ohio


Features profile views of the Ohio and Erie Canal and the Miami Canal.


A New Map of the State of Ohio.
  1850 (dated)     16.5 x 13.25 in (41.91 x 33.655 cm)     1 : 1400000


This is an 1854 Thomas Cowperthwait and S. A. Mitchell's map of Ohio. The map depicts the state from Indiana to Pennsylvania and West Virginia (then still part of Virginia) and from Michigan and Canada to Kentucky and West Virginia. Highly detailed, myriad cities, towns, and villages are labeled, including Columbus, Cleveland (Cleaveland), and Cincinnati. Individual counties are illustrated, labeled, and shaded different colors to allow for easy differentiation.

Roads and railroads snake their way across the state, including the National Road, which traverses the center of the state and passes through Bridgeport, St. Clairsville, Zanesville, Columbus, and Springfield, along with numerous other cities and towns. The National Road was the first major improved highway in the United States built by the federal government. Construction on the road began in 1811 and was completed in 1837, providing a connection between Cumberland, Pennsylvania and Vandalia, Illinois. A profile view of the Ohio and Erie Canal is situated along the bottom border, with a profile of the Miami Canal included just above it. 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 by the Philadelphia firm of Thomas Cowperthwait & Co. as plate no. 29 in the 1854 edition of Mitchell's New General Atlas. Dated and copyrighted, 'Entered according to act of Congress in the year 1850 by Thomas Cowperthwait & Co. in the Clerk's office of 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. 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. Light toning, soiling, and foxing. Tight left margin. Blank on verso.


Rumsey 4328.031 (1855 edition).