Map of Spain and Portugal, 1850, Cowperthwait
This hand-colored atlas map is a steel plate engraving created circa 1850 by American mapmaker Samuel Augustus Mitchell. For the decade leading up to the year that this map was published, Spain had been in control of two Moroccan cities, Melilla and Ceuta. Interested in expanding their empire, Spain began to construct forts in Ceuta and inhabit the territory of the Chafarinas Islands. After gaining support from other European nations, like France, to invade the northern African country, the Spanish-Moroccan War began in 1859. Only a year later, the war resulted in a Spanish victory, granting Spain with sovereignty over the Chafarinas Islands and unrestricted control of Melilla and Ceuta.
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 16" x 13". Published by Thomas, Cowperthwait & Co.
Plate size: 16" x 13"
Condition: Some minor foxing, but otherwise in excellent condition