The Final Edition of Carey's General Atlas in Attractive Original Outline Color.
This is the final edition of Carey's General Atlas, the first edition of which was issued in 1804. The present volume is from the third iteration of the atlas, the plates for which were engraved in 1814.
The 1818 edition is quite rare, this being the only example we have seen on the market in over a decade.
The 1818 edition is also noteworthy in that it has an important change to the Mississippi Territory plate that creates Alabama. This change is also reflected in the double-page general map of the United States.
The Carey General Atlas series was the most important set of atlases published at the beginning of the new republic; it stretched from the first world atlas published in America in 1795 right up through the War of 1812 to the final edition of 1818. The Post-Napoleonic economic crash of the late 1810s and early 1820s put a small stop to the development of new atlases, but the relentless progress of American mapmaking would begin again in the 1820s and reach a fever pitch by the middle of the decade.
Carey & Son refers to the period when Mathew Carey (1760-1839) ran his publishing business with his son, Henry Charles Carey (1793-1879). Mathew began the business in the 1790s and published several important atlases, including the earliest general atlas of the United States, the American Atlas. Henry entered the firm as a junior partner in 1817 and worked alongside his father until 1822, when his father retired and Henry bought out his father’s shares. They also brought in Isaac Lea (1792-1886) as a junior partner; Lea had recently married Henry’s sister. From then, the firm was known as Carey & Lea.