Map of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, 1850, Mitchell and Cowperthwait
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Map of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, 1850, Mitchell and Cowperthwait

Regular price $250.00

Massachusetts and Rhode Island, 1850, Mitchell and Cowperthwait

While first founded in 1845, the Know Nothing Party, also known as the American Party, didn't reach Boston until 1850. Expressing Protestant and Republican values, the developing movement was a reaction to the upsurge of Irish and German Catholic immigrants in these large American cities. Because of the perceived threat, Know Nothings attempted to prevent the Catholic immigrants from voting in elections, claiming that they should have to wait at least 21 years to vote, since an American native must wait as long for the voting privilege. In Boston, the party also set up investigations to try and uncover the sex lives of Catholic nuns, but journalists found nothing scandalous to reveal. Though the movement was short-lived, finally dissolving in 1860, the Know Nothings had a lot of support; they won many elections in Massachusetts as well as throughout the nation.

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: 15.5" x 11.5"

Condition: Some minor foxing, but otherwise in excellent condition


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