Map of Mississippi, 1850, Mitchell and Cowperthwait
This hand-colored atlas map is a steel plate engraving created circa 1850 by American mapmaker Samuel Augustus Mitchell. By the dawn of the 1850s, Mississippi was addled by corruption and falling into debt. Such struggles only made the state cling on faster to the cotton industry and the slavery on which it relied. To make matters worse, the Compromise of 1850 infuriated Mississippi politicians, whose purpose in supporting the Mexican-American War was torn to shreds as the new Western territory as, primarily, declared free. Democrats in Mississippi attempted to secede a year later in 1851, but were unsuccessful. When the time for secession did arrive a decade after, Mississippi would be the second state to secede and their own senator, a man named Jefferson Davis, would lead the Confederacy as the government's president through the Civil War.
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.
This original antique map is single paged, as issued, with a plate size of 12" x 15". Published by Thomas, Cowperthwait & Co.
Plate size: 12" x 15"
Condition: Some minor foxing, but otherwise in excellent condition