1853 Mitchell California with extended Utah

A New Map of the State of California, the Territories of Oregon, Washington, Utah & New Mexico

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SKU: NL-00140 Categories: ,
Date: 1853
Place: Philadelphia
Dimensions: 39.5 x 32 cm (15.5 x 12.5 in)
Condition Rating: VG
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Important depiction of the west at a time of dramatic change, both in terms of geographic discovery and political and economic development. Includes the pre-Gadsden Purchase borders in lower Arizona and New Mexico. Numerous mining towns are named in California, including Auburn, Columa [sic], Marysville, Yuba City, Downieville, etc., plus many Native American tribal names.

Utah extends from the Rockies to the California border, and New Mexico from Texas to California; Salt Lake City perches on the east side of the Great Salt Lake.

This map is from the same plate as that for the map “Texas, Oregon, and California” (1846), with changes and additions. Washington territory was formed March 2, 1853. Not showing the Gadsden Purchase indicates that the date of the map is 1853. It appeared in an edition of Mitchell’s A New Universal Atlas.


Samuel Augustus Mitchell

Samuel Augustus Mitchell (1790 – 1868) was an American geographer and bookseller. During the middle of the 19th century, he became the dominant commercial publisher of geographic materials in America.

Mitchell worked as a teacher of geography before turning to publishing, but he found the materials available to students both antiquated and lacking, so he decided to abandon teaching in favor of producing geographic textbooks and maps. He quickly became one of America’s greatest cartographic publishers and played a decisive role in making Americans aware of their country’s geography.

Thomas Cowperthwait & Co.

Thomas Cowperthwait & Co., a Philadelphia-based publishing company, emerged as a pivotal player in the American atlas and map publishing scene during the early to mid-nineteenth century. Initially established as a school publisher, the company expanded its portfolio to include a wide range of geographic materials. Their notable publications included Tanner’s New Universal Atlas, and they significantly contributed to the edition of Mitchell’s atlas post-1850.

The company’s operational period, particularly active between 1849 and 1854, was marked by a series of complex partnerships and business transformations, with the Cowperthwait name appearing on various publications. One of their key works, the “Philadelphia 1846” atlas, underscores their capacity for producing detailed geographic documents. Their activities encompassed both retail and wholesale book distribution, indicating a diverse business model.

The legacy of Thomas Cowperthwait & Co. is integral to understanding the evolution of map and atlas publishing in the United States, reflecting a crucial era of educational and cartographic advancement.

Condition Description

Fine condition, coloring bright.