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“Mitchell's first ‘original’ production” (Rumsey)

66. [MAP]. MITCHELL, S[amuel] Augustus & J[ames] H[amilton] Young. Map of the United States by J. H. Young Philadelphia: Published by S. Augustus Mitchell [below title] Entered according to Act of Congress in the Clerks Office of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania October 10th 1831 by S. Augustus Mitchell [center left above map inset] Engraved by J. H. Young, D. Haines & F. Danksworth [inset maps, views, tables, and vignette, clockwise from upper left] (1) Vicinity of Albany; (2) Vicinity of the Falls of Niagara; (3) [large untitled pictorial vignette at top with Niagara Falls, classic architecture, American eagle, modes of transportation, etc.]; (4) Distances on the Erie and Champlain Canals; (5) Lengths of the Principal Canals of the United States; (6) Vicinity of Boston; (7) Vicinity of New York; (8) Vicinity of the Falls of Philadelphia; (9) Vicinity of Baltimore; (10) Vicinity of Charleston; (11) Vicinity of N. Orleans; (12) Map of North America Including all the Recent Geographical Discoveries (neat line to neat line: 35 x 31 cm); (13) [large inset combining three elements] Comparative Heights of the Principal Mountains and Hills of the United States...; Statistics of the United States...; Comparative Lengths of the Principal Rivers of the United States.... Philadelphia, 1831. Steel-engraved varnished wall map with original full and outline color, ornate frame border, mounted on original linen, contemporary black wooden rollers, original green cloth selvages. Neat line to neat line: 110.5 x 88.9 cm. One roller chipped at end, selvages tattered. Map starting to separate from roller at top right and with moderate abrading, small cracks, and creases from use, but no losses. Light chipping and a few short tears along blank right and left margins. Moderate to heavy staining (more visible on linen backing). Verso with original white label printed in green ink: S. Augustus Mitchell | Philadelphia | Publisher of Maps, | Office, No. 4, Ranstead’s Court, | Opposite the Indian Queen Hotel, | Fourth Street, between Market and Chesnut Sts. Label abraded with loss of a few letters, but a remarkable survival.

     First edition, first wall map issued by Mitchell, a significant, handsome work of nineteenth-century Americana and American map making at a formative juncture in the history of the United States. Karrow 1:1473. Ristow, American Maps and Mapmakers, p. 309. Rumsey 2723 (describing the pocket map format): “This edition does not have the counties delineated and numbered. Ristow mistakenly says all editions have the townships (he means counties) numbered, but this one, the first, does not, thereby eliminating the index of counties and thus showing more of the western territory. This map predates the Traveler's Guide by one year, and thus is Mitchell's first ‘original’ production, as opposed to the Finley material he reissued as the American Atlas and Pocket Maps... Copyright date is October 10, 1831. There is no other date on the map. Ristow thinks the map was issued in early 1832, but it is not in Phillips until the 1834 edition (which probably has the counties indicated by number and the 1831 copyright), so Ristow may not have seen this edition, but rather the 1834. The map is hand painted in bright full color by state (insets by county).”

     Mitchell’s first original separately issued publication, one of the early steel-engraved maps created in the United States, propelled his cartographic enterprise to a position of dominance in American commercial map making. This grand map also inaugurated the long, dynamic alliance between Mitchell and brilliant engraver James H. Young, whose aesthetics and precision are beautifully showcased here. The relationship between Mitchell and Young serendipitously gave us some of the truly outstanding maps of America, the West, and Texas. The cartographic labors of Young and Mitchell resulted in maps that have been compared to the work of distinguished English mapmaker John Arrowsmith the younger. Mitchell and Young arrived on the scene at a great moment in national expansion, following the expeditions of Lewis and Clark, Pike, and others, which stimulated an interest in the newer parts of the country and created a strong market for maps, atlases, and guidebooks. See DAB (Mitchell). ($6,000-12,000)

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