Map of Maine, 1850, Mitchell and Cowperthwait
A New Map of Maine, 1850, Mitchell and Cowperthwait
Only one year after the publication of this map, the Maine Liquor Law, driven by the support of Neal Dow, mayor of Portland, Maine, went into effect. This state was one of the first to pass a prohibition law in support of the Temperance Movement, which opposed the consumption of alcohol. Social unrest began to stir within the state until a violent protest broke out in 1855 known as the Portland Rum Riot. When thousands gathered into a mob, Mayor Dow ordered the militia to fire into the crowd, killing one and wounding several others. At least a dozen other states passed the "Maine Law" within the decade of the 1850s; the 18th Amendment to the US Constitution, which prohibited alcoholic consumption, didn't take effect until 1920. Though, the long-lasting Temperance Movement in America finally ended when the 21st Amendment to the Constitution repealed the prohibition in 1933.
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: 12" x 15"
Condition: In excellent condition