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1866 Mitchell Map of the World on Mercator Projection

Map of the World on the Mercator Projection, Exhibiting the American Continent at its Centre. - Main View

1866 Mitchell Map of the World on Mercator Projection


One of the first American Maps to show Lake Victoria.


Map of the World on the Mercator Projection, Exhibiting the American Continent at its Centre.
  1866 (dated 1860)     14.5 x 18 in (36.83 x 45.72 cm)


A fine example of Mitchell's 1866 map of the World on Mercator's projection. This map covers the entire world with the American continent at its center. The routes of important explorers including Cook, the U.S. Exploring Expedition (Wilkes), the Resolution, Ross, Gore and Clark are noted. In Africa, Lake Victoria makes one of its first appearances in an American map, in the heart of Africa's 'Unexplored Territory' but is simply labeled 'Inner Sea.' Antarctica is depicted in only the most fragmentary way, referencing the world of the U. S. Exploring Expedition as well as Cook's discoveries. Features the floral border typical of Mitchell maps issued between 1860 and 1865. This map offers general revisions and updates from the 1860 version despite the fact that the copyright has not been changed. All in all, one of the most attractive American atlas maps of the world to appear in the mid-19th century. Prepared by S. A. Mitchell for inclusion in the 1866 issue of Mitchell's New General Atlas. Dated and copyrighted, 'Entered according to Act of Congress in the Year 1860 by S. A. 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. 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 Fifty-Five Quarto Maps. Forming a series of Eighty-Seven Maps and Plans. Together with Valuable Statistical Tables., (Philadelphia) 1866.    


Very good condition. Some wear on original centerfold. Else clean.


Rumsey 0565.002 (1860 edition). Phillips (Atlases) 831. New York Public Library, Map Division, 1510791.