Map of Virginia and West Virginia, 1860, Mitchell
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Map of Virginia and West Virginia, 1860, Mitchell

Regular price $230.00

This hand colored map is a steel plate engraving dating to 1860 by American mapmaker Samuel Augustus Mitchell, Junior. Virginia was one of the three largest states in the South and the most populated, including over half a million slaves. Because of its close proximity to both slave and free states, Virginians identified themselves based on which side of the Allegheny Mountains they lived on. Those in the southwestern region were more closely linked to the plantation culture of the South. Meanwhile, those in the northern regions found themselves to have greater similarities with the industrial states of the Northeast. Despite such diversity, Virginia was the eight state to secede from the Union in 1861. Meanwhile, West Virginia - her neighbor - was the site of John Brown's Raid on Harper's Ferry in 1859. In 1860, slavery was still present in the region. Even so, the territory became an official Union state in 1863, during the very midst of 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.
- Onastasia Youssef

Plate Size: 14" x 11"

Condition: Excellent condition

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