Samuel Augustus Mitchell. County Map of Florida. / Map of South Carolina. 1860.

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Samuel Augustus Mitchell

County Map of Florida. / Map of South Carolina


11 x 14 in

This is an 1861 Samuel Augustus Mitchell, Jr. map of Florida and South Carolina on one sheet. The map depicts the region surrounding the state of Florida from eastern Louisiana to the Atlantic Ocean and from Georgia and Alabama to the Strait of Florida. South Carolina, which is situated in the lower left quadrant, is illustrated from Georgia to the Atlantic Ocean and from North Carolina to Savannah, Georgia. Individual counties are illustrated, labeled, and shaded different colors to allow for easy differentiation in both Florida and South Carolina. Cities, towns, and villages are labeled in both states as well. Florida's nascent rail network is illustrated, with completed routes only in the northern part of the state, one of which connects Tallahassee with Jacksonville. A spur line between St. Marks and Tallahassee also appears to be in service, allowing cargo to be shipped from Appalachie Bay to Tallahassee.

The rail network in South Carolina is much more extensive than the one in Florida, and the South Carolina Railroad and the Northeastern Railroad. The Northeastern was only completed in 1856 and connected Charleston, South Carolina with Florence, South Carolina. The Georgia Central Railroad, which connected with the South Carolina Railroad at Augusta, Georgia and Hamburg, South Carolina (located across the Savannah River from each other) is also illustrated. An inset map of Charleston Harbor is also present in the lower left corner of the South Carolina map. This map labels numerous locations in the vicinity of the city of Charleston, including Fort Sumter (Fort Sumpter), where the first shots of the American Civil War were fired on April 12, 1861.

This map was prepared by S. A. Mitchell Jr. for inclusion in the 1861 edition of Mitchell's New General Atlas. Like many American map publishers of this period, Mitchell did not regularly update his copyrights, consequently this map is dated and copyrighted to 1860: 'Entered according to Act of Congress in the Year 1860 by S. Augustus Mitchell Jr. in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the U.S. for the Eastern District ofPennsylvania.'

Samuel Augustus Mitchell (March 20, 1792 - December 20, 1868) began his map publishing career in the early 1830s. Having worked as a schoolteacher, Mitchell was frustrated with the low quality and inaccuracy of school texts of the period. His first maps were an attempt to rectify this problem. In the next 20 years Mitchell would become the most prominent American map publisher of the mid-19th century. Mitchell worked with prominent engravers J. H. Young, H. S. Tanner, and H. N. Burroughs before attaining the full copyright on his maps in 1847. In 1849 Mitchell either partnered with or sold his plates to Thomas, Cowperthwait and Company who continued to publish the Mitchell's Universal Atlas. By about 1856 most of the Mitchell plates and copyrights were acquired by Charles Desilver who continued to publish the maps, many with modi‐fied borders and color schemes, until Mitchell's son, Samuel Augustus Mitchell Junior, entered the picture. In 1859, S.A. Mitchell Jr. purchased most of the plates back from Desilver and introduced his own floral motif border. From 1860 on, he published his own editions of the
New Gen‐eral Atlas. The younger Mitchell became as prominent as his father, publishing maps and atlases until 1887, when most of the copyrights were again sold and the Mitchell firm closed its doors for the final time.

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