Mapmaker: Prof. Rogers & A. Keith Johnston
Atlas of the United States, British & Central America1857
Atlas of the United States, British & Central America
In the scope of 19th century atlases this is possibly the best, and most uncommon. While we usually associate American publishers with the better efforts on covering the continent and its growth, this rarity is the diamond of 19th century atlases.
Twenty pages of introductory text are by Prof. Henry Darwin Rogers of Boston, a notable geologist, author and lecturer, and it is as clinical assessment of the continent as was possible at the time. Rogers text isn't the usual ornate 19th century prose, that you find in atlases, he is laying out as much practical fact for the region's temperature, nature, economy and population as can be summed, and does so quoting the latest governmental statistics. It was targeting those with a serious interest about the situation of the growing nation and colonies, and wasn't offering just the latest attractive map with a decorative border. The maps in the atlas are the perfect compliment to the text, clean, concise and free of speculation.
There are 29 maps total, first a reference key map and a map of the US. (The US map is unique in that it not only shows the slave and free states, it also distinguishes between the states importing slaves and those importing and exporting.) The balance of the maps are divided into five categories British America, United States, Mexican Confederation, Central America. In focusing on the US, Johnston produced maps that handled the nation mostly by region, east of the Mississippi, but in the West, practically all the territories receive their own individual attention. The maps of the western territories are very scarce, included are the first map that shows just the territory of Utah, a very rare Nebraska territory, a dramatic map for just New Mexico, as well as maps for Kansas and the Indian Territory, as well as Washington and Oregon.
Condition is very good with some light wear and soiling to the covers, and very light aging to the paper of the maps which are lightly yellowed, but solid and clean. pp. 49 text & maps, a mix of both printed and hand color, decorative cloth binding.