This is the first edition of Mitchell's important 1856 wall map of the United States, Mexico and the West Indies. The map depicts the entire nation from Atlantic to Pacific, with inset maps of the World on Mercator's Projection and the World on Globular Projection, and Hawaii (The Sandwich Islands).
The map was one of the most commercially successful maps of its time, regularly amended to update the changing territorial and state borders of the West.
In his important book on Mapping the Transmississippi West 1540-1861, Wheat calls this map an "achievement" and describes it's western portion in considerable detail. This wall map includes the territory acquired following the Mexican American War and was one of the best depictions of the Western U.S. to appear in the 1850s. The map includes the 1854 Gadsden Purchase in Texas, the 1855 Mexico / United States border, and detailed information derived from Stansbury's 1852 study of the region. A seminal map and a must for any serious United States, Southwest or Trans-Mississippi map collection.
Samuel Augustus Mitchell (March 20, 1792 - December 20, 1868) Senior began his map publishing career in the early 1830s. Having worked as a school teacher, 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 teamed up with printer Cowperthwait & Company to produce the Mitchell's Universal Atlas and the 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 Junior, 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.
Map in very good condition, considering age and past use. Even toning to paper, slight crackling, minor tears at top, all stabilized. Original hand coloring intact and good condition. Map backed with new conservation linen. Unframed Size: 63 1/2" x 63 1/2”.
Map has been archivally and artfully framed in a custom-built brushed gold wooden frame. Framed dimensions: 86” H x 83” W x 5.25”D.