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American Atlases

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Jedidiah Morse. Compendious History of New England. Second Edition with Improvements. Newburyport: Thomas & Whipple, 1809. 2nd. Edition. Sabin, 50932. I-xii, 13-336. 4ll. Folding map. Original leather binding with gold stamped spine label. Complete but frayed at edges. Clean.

This sprightly history of New England reads clearly from first settlers and to the American Revolution. A scarce book that was originally designed for schools as well as the casual reader.

A fine and inclusive map of "New England," by Ashur Adams is decorated with a lovely, delicate decorative title cartouche. This mapmaker is not found in Tooley's Dictionary or other sources on New England maps. Folding map size is 11 1/2 x 8 1/4. $450

Conrad Malte-Brun A New General Atlas Exhibiting The Five Great Divisions of the globe. [from front label ". . . according to the Geography of M. Malte Brun."] Philadelphia: John Grigg, 1829. Quarto. Original three-quarters leather, with original paper label. Complete with 40 engraved maps. Full original hand color. Most maps with some slight spotting. Otherwise, crisp and attractive maps. Cf. Phillips: 751, 775; Rumsey: 287.

From 1827 to 1829, Philadelphia publisher Anthony Finley produced an American version of Conrad Malte-Brun's famous Universal Geography. Malte-Brun was a Danish geographer who produced a number of influential works which were copied and printed by numerous publishers in different countries. To illustrate the geography, in 1828 Finley added an atlas of 40 maps based on Malte-Brun, which was then reissued the following year by John Grigg. Many of the non-American maps are based on maps by British cartographer Aaron Arrowsmith, but the American maps are Finley's original work, engraved by J.H. Young. The map of the mid-west, "Western States & Territories," is interesting for its depiction of the Michigan Territory and "North West Territory Attached To Michigan." The map of Mexico is of note for its depiction of "Texas or New Estremaduia," for this map was issued near the beginning of the tensions between Austin's colonists and the Mexican government that would lead to the Texas revolution. $2,500
[ Click here for image; southern states ]

Southern US
Family Cabinet Atlas. Philadelphia: Carey & Lea, 1832. First American edition. 12mo. Rebacked with full leather, using original boards. Complete with 50 engraved maps and charts. With occasional foxing, but generally crisp and clean interior. Phillips: 762; Rumsey: 3770

With the increased output of atlases in Europe in the early nineteenth century, new formats were tried, including smaller atlases intended to be useful and affordable to middle class families. In 1831, Thomas Starling issued his Family Cabinet Atlas in 12mo format, with 50 maps of all parts of the world. In Philadelphia a decade before, Mathew Carey's firm was taken over by Henry Charles Carey, Mathew's son, and Isaac Lea, his son-in-law. The year after Starling's atlas appeared, Carey & Lea issued their own edition of the Family Cabinet Atlas, which was "Revised, Corrected, and Enlarged." The maps were copied from the British atlas, but were re-engraved, and two new maps of the United States were added. There is a single map of the United States and those parts of Mexico presently part of the U.S., and two regional maps. Also included is a map of Mexico including today's Texas and the southwestern part of the U.S. Of further interest in the atlas is the inclusion of a table of place names and locations with each map. $1,000

Thomas T. Smiley, A.M., M.D.. Smiley's Atlas for the use of schools and families. A New Atlas, intended to illustrate the Encyclopedia of Geography. Philadelphia: Grigg & Elliot, 1839. Original boards. Quarto. Covers show normal wear. 15 maps on 12 plates. Description on inside page. Staining (including water damage) throughout the atlas. Not in Phillips. $450

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