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Antique Maps of Rhode Island

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Mathew Carey. "Rhode Island." From American Pocket Atlas. Philadelphia: M. Carey, 1796. 7 1/2 x 5 3/4. Engraving by W. Barker. Cf. Wheat & Brun: 253.

A map from Carey's American Pocket Atlas of 1796. This is a significant, early atlas issued by Mathew Carey, the first American to specialize in cartographic publishing. Carey, an Irish immigrant, set up an elaborate cottage system of craftsmen for engraving, printing, and coloring his maps, utilizing the best independent artists directed to a common end. Carey is important, then, not only for the excellent maps he produced, but for his setting the pattern for American map publishing, to be followed by the likes of John Melish and Henry S. Tanner.

The Pocket Atlas contained 19 small folding maps of the different states and territories in the United States. Carey's maps contain the most accurate and detailed information on the country and he updated his maps for each edition of his atlas. For instance, in the 1801 and 1805 editions he added roads to many of his maps. $300

Reid Rhode Island
Benjamin Tanner. "The State of Rhode Island, from the Latest Surveys. 1796." From The American Atlas. New York: John Reid, 1796. 17 x 13. Engraving by B. Tanner. Light stains in right corners. Otherwise, very good condition. Wheat & Brun: 254.

An important eighteenth-century, American made map of Rhode Island drawn and engraved by Benjamin Tanner. This map was issued in Reid's landmark American Atlas in 1796, which was published to accompany William Winterbotham's An historical, geographical, commercial, and philosophical view of the United States of America. This map is an excellent depiction of the current knowledge of the state in the late eighteenth century. This was typical of the maps from Reid's atlas, which was one of the very first American made atlases and one of only six maps of Rhode Island issued before 1800. The map shows the political divisions within the state, all the towns and cities, as well as mills, bridges, and roads throughout the state. The rivers and small lakes are indicated as well, and "Hopkin's Hill" is noted in the center of the state. This is one of the most desirable, and scarcest, of Rhode Island maps. $1,150

Samuel Lewis. "Rhode Island." From A New and Elegant General Atlas by Aaron Arrowsmith and Samuel Lewis. Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Petersburg and Norfolk, 1804. 9 3/4 x 8. Engraving by Lawson. Minor spotting throughout. Otherwise, very good condition.

The maps from this atlas were the work of Aaron Arrowsmith, one of the foremost cartographers of his era, and Samuel Lewis, one of the leaders in the nascent American cartographic field. This map of Rhode Island is a fine example of Lewis' output. Detail of the settlement in the state, along with topographical information is neatly portrayed. Roads and counties are also shown. A fine example of some of the best American cartography of the period. $250

Lucas Rhode Island
Fielding Lucas, Jr. "Rhode Island." From A New and Elegant General Atlas Containing Maps of each of the United States. Baltimore: F. Lucas, Jr., 1816. Folio. 10 1/2 x 8 1/4 . Engraving. Full original hand color. Large margins. Fine condition.

A fine map by Baltimore cartographer, Fielding Lucas, Jr. (1781- 1854). Lucas appears to have become involved in the publishing and book trade while a resident of Philadelphia from 1798 to 1804, when he moved to Baltimore. In 1807 Lucas joined Conrad, Lucas & Co., and then in 1810 he set up his own business at 138 Market Street. There Lucas first got involved in cartographic publishing with his New and Elegant General Atlas of 1816. In the second decade of the nineteenth century, through his Philadelphia contacts, Lucas was one of the major contributors to Carey & Lea's atlas of 1823. Concurrently with this involvement, Lucas brought out his own General Atlas, containing 104 maps of all parts of the world. Lucas, during his 50 years of residence in Baltimore, established himself as a prominent citizen of that city, serving as President of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, President of the Board of School Commissioners, and as President of the Second Branch of the City Council. But it is for his important role in early American cartography that Lucas is best remembered. $450

Fielding Lucas Jr. "Rhode Island." Philadelphia: H.C. Carey & I. Lea., 1827. 11 1/4 x 8 1/2 (map); 16 5/8 x 20 1/4 (full sheet) Engraving by J[oseph] Yeager. Original hand color. Very good condition.

In 1822, Henry Charles Carey and Isaac Lea published their A Complete Historical, Chronological, and Geographical American Atlas. This volume was based on Emmanuel Las Cases' Atlas Historique of 1803, with updated maps and text modified by Carey, a political economist. He considered himself an American foil to John Stuart Mill and the London economists who were proclaimers of "the gloomy science" influenced by Ricardo and Malthus. Instead of preaching overpopulation and degeneration of the human species, Carey illustrated the nations of the western hemisphere through maps that showed an expanding region with ample promise of developing into lands of great new opportunity and growth. The sheets from this atlas, which cover North America, Central America, South America and the West Indies, are comprised of an engraved map surrounded by text documenting the history, climate, population and so forth of the area depicted. The atlas is particularly known for its excellent early maps of the states and territories of the United States. This map of Rhode Island is typical of his maps. It shows the extensive road system in the state and includes a list of Governors up to James Fenner, elected in 1824. Overall, a fine verbal and graphic picture of this state with all of Block Island delineated. $450

Thomas G. Bradford. "Connecticut & Rhode Island." From A Comprehensive Atlas. Boston: Wm. B. Ticknor, 1835. 7 3/4 x 10. Engraving. Original outline color. Very good condition.

A fine map from Boston publisher and cartographer, Thomas G. Bradford. Issued in 1835, Bradford's Atlas contained maps of the different United States and other parts of the world, based on the most up-to-date information available at the time. Towns, rivers, lakes, and some orography are depicted. Counties are named and indicated with original outline color. Because Bradford continued to update his maps as he issued them in different volumes, this political information is very interesting for historic purposes. This is a good representation of American cartography in the fourth decade of the nineteenth century and an interesting document of regional history. $125

Bradford Rhode Island
Thomas G. Bradford. "Rhode Island." From Illustrated Atlas. Boston: T.G. Bradford, 1838. 14 1/4 x 11 3/8. Engraving by G.W. Boynton. Very good condition.

A precisely engraved map by Thomas G. Bradford, a Boston map publisher. This map was first issued in the 1838 edition of Bradford's atlas, and is up-to-date in showing the political and topographical situation with very good accuracy. Detail includes rivers, lakes, towns, and counties. Also shown is an early railroad running from Stonington, Connecticut, to Providence, and from there towards Boston. Block Island is nicely depicted at the bottom of the map. The whole is attractively presented and is a rare and early map of Rhode Island. $375

H.S. Tanner. "Massachusetts and Rhode Island." From Tanner's Universal Atlas. Philadelphia: Carey & Hart, [1841]-43. 10 3/4 x 14. Engraving by J. & W.W. Warr. Full original hand color. A few spots, else, very good condition.

A strong and beautifully crafted map of Massachusetts and Rhode Island from the nineteenth century by the great American cartographer, Henry Schenck Tanner. In 1816, Henry, his brother Benjamin, John Vallance and Francis Kearny formed an engraving firm in Philadelphia. Having had experience at map engraving through his work with John Melish, Tanner conceived of the idea of compiling and publishing an American Atlas, which was begun in 1819 by Tanner, Vallance, Kearny & Co.. Soon Tanner took over the project on his own, and thus began his career as cartographic publisher. The American Atlas was a huge success, and this inspired Tanner to produce his Universal Atlas, of more manageable size. This atlas contained excellent maps of each state, focusing on the transportation network, including roads, railroads and canals. All details are clearly presented, and these include towns, rivers, mountains, political boundaries and the transportation information. In 1844, Carey & Hart issued an edition of the atlas, and the maps were later purchased by S. Augustus Mitchell, and then Thomas, Cowperthwait & Co. Maps from the early Tanner/Carey & Hart edition are quite rare and desirable. This map of the two states is typical of the Tanner maps. It shows excellent information, especially of the transportation network. An inset in the lower left gives a detailed plan of Boston. $325

"Massachusetts and Rhode Island." With an inset of Boston. Philadelphia: S. Augustus Mitchell, 1851. 11 1/2 x 15 1/4. Lithographic transfer from engraved plate. Original hand-coloring. Very good condition.

For much of the middle part of the nineteenth century, the Mitchell firm dominated American cartography in output and influence. S. Augustus Mitchell Jr.'s maps of the 1860s are probably the best known issues of this firm, but his father's earlier efforts are excellent maps derived from H.S. Tanner's atlas of the 1830s. This map of Massachusetts and Rhode Island is a good example of this work. Topographical information, including towns, rivers, roads, canals and railroads, is profuse and clearly shown, and the counties are shaded with contrasting pastel colors. A statistical table about the states is included, as is an inset map of Boston. It is obvious from the quality and attractive appearance of this map why Mitchell's firm became so important. A fine early American cartographic document of the states. $250

Colton CT MA RI
"Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island." New York: G.W. and C.B. Colton & Co., 1866. 15 3/8 x 24 1/4. Lithograph. Full original hand-coloring. Very good condition.

In the mid-nineteenth century, the center of map publishing in America moved from Philadelphia to New York. The J.H. Colton publishing firm played a large role in this shift. This map of three New England states, with its fine detail, is a strong example of their successful work. The map presents the counties in contrasting pastel shades, and includes depictions of towns, rivers, marshes, and some topography. Of particular interest are the indications of the burgeoning transportation network in the state, with roads and railroads clearly shown. An attractive map as well as a worthwhile historical document. $125

"County Map of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island." Philadelphia: S. Augustus Mitchell, Jr., 1867. 11 1/2 x 13 3/4. Lithograph. Original hand color. Decorative border. Very good condition.

S. Augustus Mitchell, Jr., of Philadelphia, was one of the largest map publishers of the middle of the nineteenth century. The firm was founded by his father, who from around the middle of the nineteenth century issued atlases and maps of all parts of the world in all formats. The Mitchell atlases contained up-to-date maps which were as attractive as they were accurate. With its bold hand-color, decorative borders, and interesting information from this interesting period of American history, this is a fine example of the Mitchell firm's output. $125

Frank A. Gray. "Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut," with inset map "Environs of Boston." Philadelphia: O.W. Gray, 1875. 15 1/4 x 25 1/4. Long Island Sound portion of map extends beyond frame line into bottom margin. Lithograph, engraved on stone by J.M. Atwood. Original hand color. Very good condition.

A nicely detailed map showing counties, towns, canals, roads, railroads & topography by the Philadelphia firm of O.W. Gray and Son. The firm began its publishing around mid-century and published regional and U.S. atlases up to the 1880s. This map is typical of their work, and its attractive presentation and interesting detail make it a nice example of late nineteenth century Philadelphia cartography. $135

Southern New England
W.H. Gamble. "County and Township Map of the States of Massachusetts Connecticut and Rhode Island." From Mitchell's New General Atlas. Philadelphia: S. Augustus Mitchell, Jr. 1880. 14 1/4 x 21 1/4. Lithograph. Original hand color. Very good condition.

For most of the middle part of the nineteenth century, the firm founded by S. Augustus Mitchell, Sr. dominated American cartography in output and influence. This fine map is from one of his son's atlases, and it shows southern New England in 1880, a period when this area was booming economically and socially. Railroads, clearly shown, criss-cross the entire region, especially in and out of Boston. Also, towns, rivers, roads and other topographical information are clearly shown, and the counties shaded with contrasting pastel shades. $125


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