Map of Lower Canada, 1850, Mitchell and Cowperthwait
In July of 1850, officials from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick were invited to Maine for the Portland Railway Convention. This convention planned to discuss the construction of a railroad that would extend from New York City to Portland, Maine, and then to island regions of Canada East. While Canadian officials were eager to accept this new transportation, it was decided that there were not enough residents in the region to accommodate the travel, and not enough funding to cover the millions of dollar that establishing a railway would cost. Today, there is no direct railway connection between the islands and the United States.
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: 16.5" x 11"
Condition: Some minor foxing, but otherwise in excellent condition