Map of Maine, 1878, Mitchell
This hand colored map is a steel plate engraving dating to 1878 by American mapmaker Samuel Augustus Mitchell, Junior. As the 19th century was heading to its close, the people of Maine were not only becoming concerned for the economy of their state, but their legacy, which they saw as "obscure" and ignored by other states. This desire to improve their economic impact and revitalize their legacy resulted in a push towards greater industrialization. One of the strangest events to occur that year was the Silver Rush. Spurred by this desire to profit off Maine's natural resources, ambitious men misconstrued the high silver content found in a few ore samples as representative of the mines. These false claims and other miscalculations resulted in what geologists and economists refer to today as a speculative boom. Ultimately, it resulted in an overall loss for those who invested in Maine's so-called "Silver Rush."
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.
- Onastasia Youssef
Plate size: 14" x 11"