A New Map of Maryland and Delaware, 1850, Mitchell and Cowperthwait
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A New Map of Maryland and Delaware, 1850, Mitchell and Cowperthwait

Regular price $180.00

A New Map of Maryland and Delaware, 1850, Mitchell and Cowperthwait

When the United States enacted the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, it meant that slaveholders were legally permitted to capture escaped slaves and citizens throughout the nation were required to help. The Act discouraged the aid of "fugitive" escapees by threatening a penalty of jail time and thousands of dollars in fines. From 1850 to 1860, Harriet Tubman, after escaping slavery in Maryland one year earlier, made at least a dozen trips on the Underground Railroad through the state to lead slaves to freedom. With the infrastructure development of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal finally reaching Cumberland, Maryland in 1850, slaves were allowed further means to escape. 

Samuel Augustus Mitchell (1792-1868) turned his attention to mapmaking in the 1830s, due to his dissatisfaction with available school maps. He developed a map publishing business that would make him and later his son the most prominent American map publishers of the nineteenth century. By collaborating with prominent mapmakers and engravers of the day, such as James H. Young and Henry S. Tanner, Mitchell ensured that the maps he published were of the highest quality. During the 1850s, he partnered with Thomas, Cowperthwait, & Company to publish his A New Universal Atlas and his General Atlas. In 1860, his son Samuel Augustus, Jr, joined the company and he ensured that the Mitchell name remained an important one well into the 1880s.

Thomas, Cowperthwait, and Company was founded sometime in the early 1800s by Joseph Thomas and Hulings Cowperthwait. It operated under this name until 1853. The following year the company name changed to Cowperthwait, Desilver, and Butler. However, this configuration only lasted for about a year, before it became H. Cowperthwait & Company in 1856. After 1860, it appears the company experienced several more alterations, before ceasing publication at the end of the century.

- Mackenzie Pleskovic 

Plate size: 14.5" x 11.5"

Condition: In excellent condition


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