MITCHELL'S TRAVELLER'S GUIDE, 1839, WITH A VERY LARGE (18 BY 21 INCHES) HAND-COLORED MAP OF THE UNITED STATES
MITCHELL, Samuel Augustus. Mitchell's Traveller's Guide Through the United States, Containing the Principal Cities, Towns, &c. Alphabetically Arranged; Together with the Stage, Steam-Boat, Canal, and Rail-Road Routes. Philadelphia: Thomas, Cowperwait, & Co., 1839. 12mo (3-1/4 by 5-1/2 inches), publisher's red patterned cloth. $1600.
Early edition of this guide, with very large hand-colored map at rear of the eastern United States as far west as the Missouri Territory and eastern Texas.
Samuel Augustus Mitchell was one of the most prolific publishers and editors of geographical manuals, maps, and textbooks in the United States, employing upwards to 250 artisans and writers. Around 1830 Mitchell settled in Philadelphia, where the best cartographic printing houses could be found, with the intention of improving the aesthetics of geography texts and atlases. His first effort, A New American Atlas, appeared in 1831. "Mitchell entered the field of cartography at an opportune moment, when national expansion, following the expeditions of Lewis and Clark, Pike, and others, stimulated an interest in the newer parts of the country and created a market for travel maps and guidebooks. He remains an outstanding figure in the development of American geography" (DAB). "Mitchell's ability to identify and correlate original sources, as well as material from other map makers, was evident… His maps were among the most popular and influential in distributing new knowledge about American expansion to a growing, eager audience" (Martin & Martin, 135). Traveller's guides such as this one were very popular in the 19th century—small volumes that could be slipped into a pocket, filled with detailed information on the distances of each stage of trips by different forms of transportation. With inset maps of Cincinnati, Albany, New Orleans, Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington and Charleston. Issued under various titles; the map alone was first issued in 1832, and the accompanying text was first issued in 1834. See Howes M690. Small early bookplate, contemporary owner signature and marginalia to front endpapers.
Map with expert paper repairs to folds, with just the slightest bit of loss to a few of them, not affecting readability. Binding with restoration to spin ends. An extremely good copy.