Map of Europe, 1850, Mitchell and Cowperthwait
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Map of Europe, 1850, Mitchell and Cowperthwait

Regular price $230.00

Map of Europe, 1850, Mitchell and Cowperthwait

The early 1850s were tumultuous years for the continent of Europe, filled with war and chaos. Denmark and Prussia were in the midst of the First Schleswig War over Schleswig-Holstein in 1850, with the German majority of Schleswig-Holstein wanting to separate themselves from the Danish monarchy, this majority being aided by Prussian forces. Meanwhile, Russia was in the midst of expanding its boundaries, leading to fears amongst its European neighbors that it would stake claim to lands belonging to the dwindling Ottoman Empire. These fears were not unfounded; Russia had already occupied the Danubian Principalities on the Russo-Turkish border and had an extensive empire across Eastern Europe. The tensions between Russia and the rest of Europe bubbled over and resulted in the Crimean War beginning in 1853 with the Ottoman Empire opening an offensive against Russian forces in the Danubian Principalities. 

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.

- Ashe Nicholson

Plate size: 15.2" x 12.5"

Condition: Some minor foxing, but otherwise in excellent condition


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