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Mitchell Samuel Augustus; engraved hand-colored map of the West Indies.

SKU: Mitchell, Samuel A. AB256 $79.95
Mild toning and abraiding to the edges with light, random foxing. Samuel Augustus Mitchell (1792, Bristol, Connecticut a'' December 20, 1868, Philadelphia) was an American geographer. Mitchell worked as a teacher before turning to publishing geography textbooks and maps. Sales of his 24 works reached annual sales of over 400,000 copies. For over 50 years, Samuel Augustus Mitchell, his son and successors were one of the most prominent publishers of maps and atlases in the United States. Samuel Augustus Mitchell was born in Bristol, Connecticut on March 20, 1792. His father emigrated from Scotland in 1773. While little is know about his early schooling, it is know that Mitchell found the quality of early geography text books to be lacking, and determined that he would write and publish better works. This decision led him to relocate to Philadelphia in 1829 or 1830, which was then the center of commercial publishing in America. Mitchella's first cartographic work was the re-issue of Anthony Finleya's New American Atlas in 1831, a work first issued by Finley in 1826, in response to Henry Schenk Tannera's monumental work of the same title, issued in serial format from 1818 to 1822 and as a complete work from 1823 onward. While the map content in Mitchella's edition of the New American Atlas are same as Finleya's edition, each map has been significantly improved and revised, primarily with the addition of new owns and roads. This is especially true in the South and West. Finley had originally collaborated with D.H. Vance and J.H. Young in the preparation of the maps. Vancea's name is removed from the Mitchell edition. Mitchell continued to work with Young, an association, which would continue for several decades. Following publication of the New American Atlas, Mitchell began issuing the individual maps in pocket map format. Beginning in 1834, Mitchell began offering reduced sized Tourist Pocket Maps of a number of states in the United States. J.H. Young and D. Haines are listed as the engravers on these maps. In 1832, Mitchell offered the first edition of his Travelers Guide Through the United States, A Map of the Roads, Distances, Steam Boat & Canal Routes &c. By J.H. Young, which would become one of his most popular and enduring works. The map of the United States was done by steel engraving, one of the earliest uses of a steel engraving in map publishing in America. In the same year, the first edition of Mitchella's Map of the United States, by J.H. Young was issued, bearing the copyright date of October10, 1831. This map would be revised and issued until 1844. Young also compiled A New Map of the United States in 1833. These two wall maps would come to dominate the market and their success led to several later US wall maps issued by Mitchell. This second map was also issued under the title of Mitchella's Reference and Distance Map of the United States, which was issued until 1851. Beginning in 1839, Mitchell also began publication of his school atlas with variant editions for older and younger students, was issued by Mitchell and his successors from 1839 to 1886. Mitchell was neither a cartographer nor an engraver. His primary function was as the editor and business manager of his publishing company, with Young working as the primary maker of maps. In 1845, Mitchell acquired the rights to Henry Schenk Tannera's New Universal Atlas from Carey & Hart, which had previously acquired the copyright from Tanner and published editions of 1843 and 1844. Mitchell changed many of the maps and issued two editions of the atlas in 1846. He changed the copperplates to lithography, utilizing Peter S. Duval in Philadelphia to produce the stones. Mitchell re-issued the atlas at least annually until 1850, when he sold the rights to the work to Thomas, Cowperthwait & Company, who published the atlas until 1853, when it in turn sold the rights to the newly reorganized Cowperthwait, Desilver & Butler. Thereafter, Desilver took over publication in 1855, revised the decorative border of the maps, and issued editions until 1859, when the copyright was sold to Cushings & Bailey, who published editions of the New Universal Atlas in 1859 and 1860. These latter editions are very rare and incorporate several novel maps, including a mid-continent map of the US beginning in 1855 and a map of Kansas in 1859. There have also been reports of an 1862 edition, although this writer is not aware of any examples in public or private collections. In 1860, Mitchella's son Samuel Augustus Mitchell Jr. began issuing Mitchella's New General Atlas. While his father had continued to issue wall maps and other works, this appears to be his sona's first entry into the trade. The New General Atlas was issued by SA Mitchell Jr. until 1887. From 1880 to 1887, Bradley & Company published the atlas. Various other minor publishers, including A.R. Keller, produced editions as late as 1894. Works: a Mitchell's School Atlas, 1845a''1857 a General View of the World, Physical, Political, and Statistical, 1846 a Travellers' Guide through the United States, 1850