Map of Louisiana, 1850, Mitchell and Cowperthwait
This hand-colored atlas map is a steel plate engraving created circa 1850 by American mapmaker Samuel Augustus Mitchell. Only a year before the publication of this map, in May of 1849, New Orleans saw a devastating levee failure, an event known as Sauve's Crevasse. With the Mississippi River having flooded much of the city, thousands were displaced and left homeless. The disastrous effects of this flood were comparable to the population's experience with Hurricane Katrina in recent years. Though, while the threat of flood is now more likely attributable to hurricanes, levee failure was more common during the mid-19th century.
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.
This original antique map is single paged, as issued, with a plate size of 15.5" x 17.5". Published by Thomas, Cowperthwait & Co.
Plate size: 15.5" x 17.5"
Condition: Some minor foxing, but otherwise in excellent condition