Map of North Western America, 1884, Mitchell
This hand colored map is a steel plate engraving dating to 1884 by American mapmaker Samuel Augustus Mitchell, Junior. In 1884, the United States territory of Alaska was known as the Department of Alaska. That year, however, it was renamed the District of Alaska. General Jefferson C. Davis was put in charge as commander of the region as it was considered part of the US Army's jurisdiction. American trappers explored Alaska in search of valuable furs to trade. Scientists and geographers were also thrilled to study what would later be called the Last Frontier. Alaskan natives, however, did not benefit as greatly from the American acquisition. Citizenship was not allowed to Native Americans in Alaska until the year 1887, and only under the condition that they renounce ties to their cultural heritage and community. Native lands are not recognized in this map, but Russian borders and villages are highlighted.
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: Minor foxing, but otherwise in excellent condition