Mitchell's National Map of the American Republic or United States of North America. Together with Maps of the Vicinities of Thirty-Two of the Principal Cities and Towns in the Union.
By: Samuel Augustus Mitchell
Date: 1843 (dated) Philadelphia
Dimensions: 7.25 x 4.75 inches (Closed)
24.75 x 34 inches (Each Sheet Open)
An attractive and sturdy 1st state example of Mitchell's National Map of the United States, published in 1843. The map comes in folding pocket-book form with original leather covers decorated in gold stamp graphics and lettering. Original bold colors has been well preserved for over 175 years as a result of the aid and security of the original brass clasp, still present and in working order.
Mitchell's National Map of the United States offers a superb look at the United States still growing into itself less than seventy years after declaring its, independence and roughly two decades prior to the Civil War. Opening the clasp and covers we find a folding map of the United States on the right, extending just west of the Mississippi River. On the left a a second folded sheet of equal size presents a large statistical table surrounded by thirty-two small inset maps of important cities and regions throughout the country.
Examining the Map
The map provides several cartographic points of intrigue from end to end. Beginning in the northeast, we find the new border between Maine and Canada as defined the Webster–Ashburton Treaty of 1842. That was under contentious dispute between the United States and Great Britain due to the wealth of timber in the region, which was highly valued for shipbuilding. Additional agreements from this treaty included the establishment of the border between Lake Superior and the Lake of the Woods, an agreement that the two countries would share use of the Great Lakes, and a final end to the slave trade on the high seas.
Looking further south, we find Virginia in its large form, prior to the secession of West Virginia that would be voted on twenty years later, in 1863. The south of Florida is shown with much of the lower peninsula dominated by an "extensive swamp" we know as the Everglades, noted on the map with it's indigenous name Pay-Hai-O-Kee, with its translation "Grass Water."
Moving on to the Mississippi River and its surrounding lands, we find the extent to what citizens of the United States would describe as the Western Frontier. Much of the Northwest Territory that originally comprised of all land north and west of the Ohio River now divided into the states of Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, and Illinois. Wisconsin and Iowa are depicted in the territorial form as they would not become states until later in the decade. Within these territories and the Indian Territory, we find a wealth of indigenous tribes. Some in spaces they had occupied for centuries, others new to the region having been removed from their ancestral lands by way of treat or force. Some of the tribes and nations represented in the map include, the Chippewa, Sioux, Sac and Foxes, Omahas, Kickapoos, Shawnees, Osages, Cherokee, Creeks, Choctaw, and Seminole, to name just a few.
Due to the historical timing and choice of area depicted in the map, Mitchell offers a partial view of Texas as a republic. Texas spent ten years as an independent country since their secession from Mexico in 1836 to their formal joining of the Union in February of 1846. This map offers many early Texas settlements and forts including Houston, Franklin, Swartwout, Nacadoches, and Fort Houston, as well as their earliest wagon roads that connected these populations.
Statistical Table of 1840
The statistical table and thirty-two inset maps presented on the other sheet adjoined to the opposite cover gives the viewer a more in-depth look at the growing cities, and important regions throughout the country. As per the title the statistical table provides "A concise view of the number, resources, and industry of the American people in the year 1840." This includes agricultural and mineral, resources, manufactured products, exports, and imports from each state.
Predating the Emancipation Proclamation by exactly 20 years, several population tables offer accurate numbers of free and enslaved people of color with Virginia having the most enslaved people at 448,987. A total of 2,040,129 enslaved is given for the "Southern States," nearly half of their total population at 5,111,553. Other interesting statistics such as lengths of rivers, heights of mountains, railroads and canals both completed and nearly completed are also provided.
Condition: This book with folding map and statistical table is in A condition. The covers are pristine and entirely original. The color and cleanliness of the map and table are also very impressive for its age. Some areas of paper loss are apparent along folds and fold intersections, which is relatively common for folding maps. Both sheets have been professionally re-backed offering greater stability for when opening and closing and a greater potential for long-term preservation.
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