Map of the State of Illinois, 1861, Mitchell

Map of the State of Illinois, 1861, Mitchell

Regular price $140.00

Map of the State of Illinois, 1861, Mitchell 

This hand-colored atlas map depicting topographic detail of Illinois is a steel plate engraving created circa 1861 by American mapmaker Samuel Augustus Mitchell.

When the war began in April of 1861, President Lincoln's home state was resolute in its support of the Union. Governor Richard Yates quickly sent troops to aid the federal cause after the Battle of Fort Sumter. Passionate politicians and citizens strengthened efforts to expel secessionists and discourage slavery in the state.

During the Civil War, the city of Cairo, Illinois served a particularly significant role as a strategic base for the US military. Cairo was well known at the time for its location at which the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers met. The prosperous little town had benefited greatly as an economic trade hub during an age when steamboats were the driving force of the economy. Located at Illinois' southernmost point, it was also in close proximity to neighboring Confederate states. Once the military quickly identified the importance of the location for the war effort, they occupied Cairo and transformed it into a training base and military headquarters. In September of 1861, Ulysses S. Grant would arrive there to command his troops.

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: 14" x 11"

Condition: Some foxing, but otherwise in excellent condition

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