Mitchell's New Traveller's Guide through the United States Showing the Rail Roads, Canals, Stage Roads and c. with Distances from Place to Place.
1857 (dated) 22 x 29.5 in (55.88 x 74.93 cm)
1 : 3700000
An uncommon separately issued 1857 pre-Civil War pocket map of the United States issued by Charles Desilver based on earlier maps by Samuel Augustus Mitchell. The map covers the United States from the Atlantic seaboard west to the first tier of states beyond the Mississippi, with insets offering additional detail in the New England Region, the Lake Superior Copper Mine Region, and in the California Gold Region. As might be anticipated from a map designed for the 'traveler,' Desilver offers exceptional detail with regard to railways, canals, and roads. It also offers an inset illustrates routes to California, emphasizing continued interest in the California gold discovery.
This map was drawn by J. L. Hazzard and I.S. Drake. Desilver first issued this map in 1856. This is the second Desilver edition, dated 1857. It is uncommon on the market.
Charles Desilver (fl. c. 1850 - 1862) is a little known American map published active in the middle part of the 19th century. Desilver began is cartographic career as a partner in the firm Thomas, Cowperthwait and Company, the publisher of S. A. Mitchell popular New Universal Atlas. In 1856 Desilver acquired Mitchell's copyrights and print plates and began to issue his own variant of the New Universal Atlas. Desilver altered Mitchell's maps only slightly; adding a new grillwork border, his own color scheme, new titles, and some updated political data. Despite a noble pedigree, Desilver's maps did not sell well - possibly because they followed the long and very popular run of Mitchell's own atlases. Desliver continued to publish his atlas until 1859 (though we have heard that he also published an 1862 edition). In 1859 he resold the Mitchell copyrights and printing plates to S. A. Mitchell's son S. A. Mitchell Jr. The younger Mitchell again updated the plates with own border and color scheme and began publishing his own successful atlas in 1860.
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 and Mitchell's General Atlas. By about 1856 most of the Mitchell copyrights were bought 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 well into the late 1880s when most of the copyrights were again sold and the Mitchell firm closed its doors for the final time.
Good. Some wear and creasing on original fold lines. A few areas of repaired loss, lower left quadrant. Removed form binder, which is not present. Ready for framing.