This is a fine example of S. A. Mitchell's 1846 map of Russia. The whole is engraved in Mitchell's distinctive style with green border work and vivid pastels. Political and topographical features are noted and color coded with elevation rendered by hachure. Mitchell's map covers European Russia from the Baltic to the Ural Mountains and from Lapland to the Crimea. An inset table in the lower right quadrant lists the regional governments of Russia.
When this map was printed, Russia was ruled by Tsar Nicholas I who adopted the doctrine of 'Orthodoxy, Autocracy, and Nationality' and was known to be one of the most reactionary monarchs in Russia. In 1825, Russian army officers, called the Decembrists, protested against Nicholas I's ascension to the throne. The Decembrists, so named because their revolt started in December, favored Nicholas I's brother, Constantine, who seemed amenable to a British style constitutional monarchy. When Constantine abdicated the throne in 1825, the Decembrists refused to accept the more autocratic rule of Nicholas I. Had Constantine not abdicated and the Decembrists been successful, the bloody Bolshevik Revolution may never have occurred.
This map was prepared by S. A. Mitchell for publication as plate no. 60 in the 1846 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. 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 Jr., S. A., Mitchell's New General Atlas, Containing Maps Of The Various Countries Of The World, Plans Of Cities, Etc. Embraced In Forty-Seven Quarto Maps, Forming A Series Of Seventy-Six Maps And Plans, Together With Valuable Statistical Tables, 1846 edition.
Very good. Minor spotting.
Rumsey 0537.061. Phillips (Atlases) 814.