From 1827 to 1829, Philadelphia publisher Anthony Finley produced an American version of Conrad Malte-Brun's famous Universal Geography. Malte-Brun was a Danish geographer who produced a number of influential works which were copied and printed by numerous publishers in different countries. To illustrate the geography, in 1828 Finley added an atlas of 40 maps based on Malte-Brun, which was then reissued the following year by John Grigg. Many of the non-American maps are based on maps by British cartographer Aaron Arrowsmith, but the American maps are Finley's original work, engraved by J.H. Young. The map of the mid-west, "Western States & Territories," is interesting for its depiction of the Michigan Territory and "North West Territory Attached To Michigan." The map of Mexico is of note for its depiction of "Texas or New Estremaduia," for this map was issued near the beginning of the tensions between Austin's colonists and the Mexican government that would lead to the Texas revolution. $2,500
[ Click here for image; southern states ]
Family Cabinet Atlas. Philadelphia: Carey & Lea, 1832. First American edition. 12mo. Rebacked with full leather, using original boards. Complete with 50 engraved maps and charts. With occasional foxing, but generally crisp and clean interior. Phillips: 762; Rumsey: 3770
With the increased output of atlases in Europe in the early nineteenth century, new formats were tried, including smaller atlases intended to be useful and affordable to middle class families. In 1831, Thomas Starling issued his Family Cabinet Atlas in 12mo format, with 50 maps of all parts of the world. In Philadelphia a decade before, Mathew Carey's firm was taken over by Henry Charles Carey, Mathew's son, and Isaac Lea, his son-in-law. The year after Starling's atlas appeared, Carey & Lea issued their own edition of the Family Cabinet Atlas, which was "Revised, Corrected, and Enlarged." The maps were copied from the British atlas, but were re-engraved, and two new maps of the United States were added. There is a single map of the United States and those parts of Mexico presently part of the U.S., and two regional maps. Also included is a map of Mexico including today's Texas and the southwestern part of the U.S. Of further interest in the atlas is the inclusion of a table of place names and locations with each map. $1,000
M. Malte-Brun. A System of Universal Geography or A Description of All The Parts Of the World... With Additions and Corrections by James G. Percival. Boston: Samuel Walker, 1834. Three volumes. Rebound in 1/4 leather. I: xx, 640 pp., 17 plates; II: xx, 680 pp., 28 plates; III: xv, 714 pp., 27 plates. Interior with some slight staining and browning, but overall very good.
A handsome set of Malte-Brun's Universal Geography, issued in Boston in 1834. The erudite text covers all aspects of the entire world and includes numerous tables of various sorts. Equally impressive is the extensive collection of over 70 engraved plates. Among these are maps of countries and continents and views of different parts of the globe, with a selection of 13 engravings of North American scenes. $750
Thomas T. Smiley, A.M., M.D.. Smiley's Atlas for the use of schools and families. A New Atlas, intended to illustrate the Encyclopedia of Geography. Philadelphia: Grigg & Elliot, 1839. Original boards. Quarto. Covers show normal wear. 15 maps on 12 plates. Description on inside page. Staining (including water damage) throughout the atlas. Not in Phillips. $450
E. Otis Kendall. Atlas of the Heavens; Showing the Places of the Principal Stars, Clusters and Nebulæ; Designed to Accompany the Uranography; or, A Description of the Heavens. Philadelphia: E.H. Butler & Co., 1849. 10 1/2 x 9 3/8. 18 plates. Publisher's printed paper over boards with cloth backstrip. Some wear to boards. Some staining and spotting on the text leaves only. Otherwise clean and tight.
Ezra Otis Kendall (1818-1899), a professor of mathematics and astronomy at Philadelphia's Central High School, first published his Uranography (celestial cartography) in 1844, with the accompanying atlas. The seventeen plates of this atlas show the stars and planets white against a blue background, which the publisher's note boasts is more realistic than the then customary uncolored method of black objects against a white sky. $325
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