County Map of Virginia and West Virginia
1863 (dated) 11 x 13.5 in (27.94 x 34.29 cm)
A beautiful example of S. A. Mitchell Jr.'s 1864 map of Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland. This map was revised version of Mitchells 1860 map of the same region to accommodate for the separation of Virginia and West Virginia in 1862. Includes the full Chesapeake Bay from Cape Henry to the mouth of the Susquehanna River. Curiously Harper's Ferry is mapped into Virginia rather than West Virginia. Shortly after the end of the Civil War, Harpers Ferry, along with all of both Berkeley and Jefferson Counties, was separated from Virginia and incorporated into West Virginia. . The inhabitants of the counties as well as the Virginia legislature protested and is this that protest we see reflected here in Mitchell's political map making. In the end the cartography was not to have his way and Harper's Ferry was moved to West Virginia in subsequent maps, thus creating the West Virginia panhandle. One of the most attractive and interesting atlas maps of this region to appear in the mid 19th century. Features the floral border typical of Mitchell maps from the 1860-65 period. Prepared by W. H. Gamble for inclusion as plate 27 in the 1864 issue of Mitchell's New General Atlas. Dated and copyrighted, 'Entered according to Act of Congress in the Year 1863 by S. Augustus Mitchell Jr. in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the U.S. for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.'
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 New General Atlas, containing Maps of the Various Countries of the World, Plans of Cities, Etc., Embraced in Fifty-three Quarto Maps, forming a series of Eighty-Four Map and Plans, together with Valuable Statistical Tables. (1864 Edition)
Very good condition. Blank on verso.
Rumsey 2483.035 (1870 variant). Phillips (Atlases) 831-16. New York Public Library, Map Division 1510807.