New York: Published by John Reid, 1796. Folio. Mounted on guards throughout, facsimile title page, 21 engraved maps and plan on 20 leaves (2 folding, 17 double-page and 2 single-page maps printed on one double-page sheet).
The Reid atlas is one of the most rare and interesting of American atlases, preceded only by Mathew Carey's American Atlas issued in Philadelphia in 1795-- acknowledged as the first American printed atlas. The maps of North America, South America, the United States, and Kentucky are based on maps appearing in the 1795 London editions of Winterbotham; the remaining maps are original to this work, including detailed engravings of North America, South America, the United States; and individual maps of New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and the West Indies.
Although not found in all copies, this specific atlas is unique for the fact that it contains the exceedingly rare plan for the City of Washington, which follows the famed Ellicott plan of 1792. This additional map is not recorded in the plate list and was only included in a handful of copies, tipped in at back.
This first edition of the "second purely American atlas of the United States” preceded only by Mathew Carey's 1795 atlas, is presented in full calf leather binding with decorative embossed boards and spine and raised bands with gilt lettering. It is housed in an exquisite handcrafted leather and cloth clamshell.