Dorothy Sloan -- Books


Atlas Issue, with the Battle Flags in Texas

339.     [MAP]. MITCHELL, S[amuel] Augustus. Mexico & Guatemala: Philadelphia, Published by S. Augustus Mitchell, N.E. corner of Market & 7th. Streets, 1847 [below map within lower margin] Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1846, by H.N. Burroughs, in the Clerks Office of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. [atlas number at lower right margin outside neat line] 36. [inset map and explanation at lower left] Valley of Mexico [inset map at upper right] Guatemala. Philadelphia: S. Augustus Mitchell, 1847. Lithographic transfer from engraved plate (showing the Californias, Texas, New Mexico, and areas south to Costa Rica), original full color, ornate olive green and pink double borders, border to border: 30.2 x 38.2 cm; overall sheet size: 33.6 x 42.7 cm. Paper age toned, otherwise fine.

     Another issue of preceding pocket map (Item 338), here the atlas version as published in Mitchell’s New Universal Atlas (Philadelphia, 1847). Day, Maps of Texas, p. 43. Phillips, Atlases 6104. Wheat, Gold Region #27n; Mapping the Transmississippi West #519 & Vol. III, p. 35. This issue has flags for the early battles of the Mexican-American War (Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma). The same map appeared in Mitchell’s 1846 atlas of the same name, also published at Philadelphia. The atlas number "36" is printed on this version, as well as the pocket map preceding and the 1846 atlas. In the 1846 atlas H.S. Tanner’s name was been removed and Burroughs’ name substituted. Here the border has been altered in design from the 1846 atlas map.

     Ristow (American Maps and Map Makers, pp. 201-202, 311) discusses the evolution of the Universal Atlas from Carey & Hart to Tanner to Mitchell (and afterwards to Thomas, Cowperthwait, and then Charles DeSilver). The present map is interesting for map publishing in the United States because it came at the time when the first American atlas was converted from engraved plates to lithographic plates, “greatly reducing the cost of production and thus making the book widely affordable by the general public” (Ristow). This was particularly desirable as the Mexican-American War unfolded and the public was ravenous for news of the conflict that would realize their vision of “Manifest Destiny.”