Auction 170, Lot 715

First Edition, First State

"Mitchell's New General Atlas, Containing Maps of the Various Countries of the World, Plans of Cities, Etc. Embraced in Forty-Seven Quarto Maps...", Mitchell, Samuel Augustus

Subject: Atlases

Period: 1860 (published)


Color: Hand Color

13.1 x 15.9 inches
33.3 x 40.4 cm

This is the first edition, first state of Mitchell's world atlas produced just before the outbreak of the Civil War. It is nearly complete with 75 maps and plans on 46 sheets, missing only the map of Baltimore. The maps in this atlas have distinctive strong coloring and ornate borders with no page numbers outside of the map borders. There are 21 (of 22) map sheets related to the United States and two world maps - one hemispheric and the other drawn on Mercator's Projection.

The map of Texas shows county development to 100° longitude with the large regions of El Paso, Presidio, and Bexar Territory further west. The Staked Plain is now called Young Territory. The map of the Northwest shows Idaho still attached to Washington Territory, resulting in an odd-looking inverted-L shape. The map of the United States pre-dates the Pony Express route, but exploration routes, important trails, wagon roads, and the Overland Mail Route to California are depicted. This 1860 edition did not include the separate map of Arizona and New Mexico, however on the U.S. map the southern tip of Nevada is contained as part of New Mexico Territory. The proposed Arizona Territory occupies the southern portion of New Mexico Territory but is not delineated. The atlas also includes full-page plans of the cities of Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Cincinnati.

Hardbound, quarter calf with tips over cloth-covered boards, stamped title on front cover. Title page, list of maps, maps and plans are followed by a 26 page index including: List of Post Offices in the United States, Table of Population, Governments. &C., Mountains of the World, and Rivers of the World.

References: Rumsey #0565.


The maps are generally very good with beautiful impression and bright coloring as usually seen in the first edition. There is occasional light toning, minor foxing, and dampstains mostly in the blank margins. Covers are completely detached and the text block is very loosely held together by string. The title page and table or contents are loose. Boards and spine are heavily worn with a large chip in the back cover. Maps (B+)/Binding (C).

Estimate: $700 - $850

Sold for: $550

Closed on 11/14/2018