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Mitchell's 1834 seminal reference map of the United States in spectacular original color.

Place/Date: Philadelphia / 1834
On Hold
Title: Mitchell’s Reference and Distance Map of the United States, by J. H. Young
129 x 166.5 cm (50.75 x 65.5 in)
Original color
Condition Rating


First edition in brilliant original color.

Documenting the period of expansion between the Adams-Onis Treaty (1819) and the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848), this gorgeous map of the United States extends from the Atlantic Seaboard to the ninety-fifth meridian, with a large inset of North America. Smaller insets feature northern Maine and southern Florida, and ten insets of the vicinities of cities: Albany, Baltimore and Washington, Cincinnati, Charleston, New Orleans, Niagara Falls, Rochester, Boston, New York, and Philadelphia.

In 1833, Samuel Augustus Mitchell, along with his compiler and engraver James Young, published A New Map of the United States and, in 1834, published Mitchell’s Reference and Distance Map of the United States, by J.H. Young with the same view, decorative borders, and engravers. Ristow states that there was an issue of this map in 1834 without the word “Mitchell” in the title, but we have not seen it. In any event, later editions, always dated, were to follow. As with the 1833 map, Mitchell offered this 1834 version for sale at his firm Mitchell & Hinnan in Philadelphia.

Below the title cartouche is a fine steel engraving, designed by W. Mason, featuring an American eagle perched on a seashell boat with a coastal view in the background.

The decorative border is lined with silk edges.


J.H. Young

J.H. Young was an accomplished engraver and mapmaker based in Philadelphia and active in the first half of the 19th century.

Samuel Augustus Mitchell

Samuel Augustus Mitchell (1790 – 1868) was an American geographer and bookseller. Mitchell worked as a teacher before turning to publishing geography textbooks and maps. He became involved in geography after teaching and realizing that there were so many poor quality geographical resources available to teachers.

Condition Description

The map is in excellent condition, mounted on original linen and sectioned for folding. It maintains its original folder case, half leather and marbled, with some rubbing and scuffing.


Ristow, Walter W. American Maps and Mapmakers: Commercial Cartography in the Nineteenth Century. Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press, 1985; pp. 309-10.

Provenance: F. Edwards, 6/69; Warren Heckrotte.

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