An attractive 1850 map of the United States and parts of Canada by George Frederick Cruchley. The map covers the United States east of Texas and the Indian Territory as well as parts of Canada south of the Hudson Bay and west of Nova Scotia. Cruchley divides the states with color coding identifying major cities as well major rivers. Topography is rendered by hachure.
The 1850s were a period of both great hope and simmering tensions in the United States. The discovery of gold in California one year earlier initiated and mass trans-continental emigration in the quest for wealth and land. California was admitted as the 31st state in September of this year and the cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco were incorporated. Meanwhile, tensions continued to rise between the slave holding agrarian southern states and the industrialized 'free' northern states. The Compromise of 1850, intended to placate the slave holding states, essentially divided the United States along lines that, by 1861, would degenerate in the American Civil War.
Cruchley's General Atlas was unique for its period, employing a vivid color scheme extending even to the oceans, distinctive typography, and various uncommon decorative elements including a peacock feather crown and an imprint medallion, both of which break the printed border. Though many of the maps in this atlas are copyrighted in 1841, the atlas was first published in 1843 from the Cruchley office at 81 Fleet Street, London, and proving popular went through numerous reissues well into the 1850s.
George Frederick Cruchley (April 23, 1797 - June 16, 1880) was a London based book and map seller active in the middle part of the 19th century. Cruchley began his cartographic career as an apprentice at the venerable Aaroon Arrowsmith firm. Many of Cruchley's earliest maps bear the words 'From Arrowsmith's' on the imprint. In 1844, Cruchley acquired the massive stock of the important early 19th century firm of John Cary. Cruchley published his own maps as well as reissues of Cary's stock well into the 1870s. He is best known for his detailed plans of London, which in recent years have become increasingly scarce and desirable. Cruchley was based in London on 38 Ludgate Street until 1834 when he moved his offices to 81 Fleet Street. Shortly before his death in 1880 Cruchely auctioned (Hodgson's Auctions, Jan 16, 1877) his entire stock. Many of his map plates were thusly acquired by 'Gall and Inglis' who continued the Cruchley tradition well into the early 20th century. Cruchley's son, also George Frederick (1837 - 1882), continued to work as a book and map seller until his death.
Cruchley, G. F., Selection of Maps from Cruchley's General Atlas, for the use of Schools and Private Tuition, London, 1850.
Very good. Minor wear and some toning over original centerfold. Blank on verso.