Presented is Mitchell’s National Map of the American Republic of the United States of North America, as published by Samuel Augustus Mitchell in Philadelphia in 1843. This map was drawn by J. H. Young and was engraved by J. H. Brightly. The map was issued by Mitchell in both hanging and folding map formats, starting in 1843. The company continued to update and reissue the map until 1850. This is the first edition, printed in 1843 and issued on hanging rollers.
This remarkable map depicts the United States as it was in the early 1840s, just before significant changes in our country’s expansion and history. The map extends west from the Atlantic coast to the Republic of Texas, Indian Territory, and the massive Iowa Territory, which at the time extended to the Missouri River and Canada. A border of thirty-two small inset maps of cities and towns surrounds the main map, a population statistical table, a larger inset "Map of the North-Eastern boundary of the United States According to the Treaty of 1842" showing the Maine-Canada boundary, and a "Map of the Southern part of Florida.”
The small inset maps along the border help to identify the important towns and cities of the Union as of 1843. At the time of printing this map, westward expansion was well underway into the region of what is now Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. The primary route of travel and shipping of raw materials to these new cities and towns was through the Ohio River Valley, so key cities and towns along this route show up in the border inset maps.
Published prior to the beginning of the Mexican War, the map shows important regions that would be significantly redrawn with the course of events about to unfold. Most notably, Texas is shown with its Republic boundaries. As with all of Mitchell's early maps of the United States, the map extends no further west than the 95th meridian (eastern Texas). Due to the tremendous territorial growth west of the 95th meridian brought about by the Mexican American War (1846-48) and the discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill 1848, the map was discontinued after 1850.
Samuel Augustus Mitchell Sr. (1792 - 1868) began his map-publishing career in the early 1830s. Having worked as a schoolteacher, 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 full copyright on his maps in 1847.
In 1849, Mitchell teamed up with printer Cowperthwait & Company to produce Mitchell's Universal Atlas and Mitchell's General Atlas. In the late 1850s most of the Mitchell copyrights were bought by Desilver and Co., who continued to publish his maps, many with modified borders and color schemes, until Mitchell's son, Samuel Augustus Mitchell Jr., entered the picture. 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 well into the late 1880s when most of the copyrights were again sold and the Mitchell firm closed its doors for the final time.
Overall, very good condition. Hand-colored map, with border outline and a light watercolor wash. Paper has some toning and light discoloration, and several small horizontal cracks due to its rolling format. Hanging on black wooden rollers, attached at top and bottom of map. Backed with linen. Dimensions: 39 1/2"H x 49" W.