Map of Africa, 1860, Mitchell

Map of Africa, 1860, Mitchell

Regular price $175.00

Map of Africa, 1860, Mitchell 

In 1860, European empires exercised their colonial powers upon the resource-rich land of Africa and carved up the continent. In South Africa in particular, the tumultuous political and racial struggles in this year would transform the course of the nation's history. The Boer-led South African Republic controlled part of the region. There, both Indians and black Africans suffered from social discrimination and inferior living conditions as "non-Whites". A similar thing happened in the British colonies in South Africa, including Natal (shown here on the map as "Port Natal" to the right of Durban) where, in 1860, the majority of Indian laborers were rushed into the country to provide cheap manual labor that more often resembled the abolished slave trade. The indentured servants, called "coolies", were tempted to travel to South Africa with the promise of higher wages. When they arrived, the payment was meager when compared to the exhausting hours and strenuous physical conditions of working on the sugar plantations, and abuse by employers ran rampant. Such devastating treatment would lead to lasting scars that still inform politics and society in South Africa today.

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.
- Onastasia Youssef

Plate size: 11" x 13.75" 

Condition: Some foxing, but otherwise in excellent condition

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