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Stock# 72887

Virtually unknown early release of the first 5 maps from David Burr's New Universal Atlas.

The text notes that Burr planned to release 20 parts, consisting of 5 maps each, except the final, which would have been 6 maps.  Burr's atlas reached 63 maps when it was ultimately released, and would be published for several years beginning in 1835, before being sold to Jeremiah Greenleaf in about 1840.

New York American 1831 November 5th: page 2:

A SERIES OF MAPS FOR A GENERAL ATLAS, by David H. Burr, N.Y., No. 1. --- This is an experiment by Mr. Burr which will, we hope, succeed. It is intended to supply a series of maps of a size between the smaller ones usually seen in schools, and the larger and expensive ones. The No. before us contains five colored maps, carefully executed, as it seems to us, and large enough to satisfy any general object in referring to a map. The price of the No. is only one dollar. It is proposed to give distinct maps of all the known countries in the world; and twenty numbers will, it is computed, suffice for that purpose. --- We certainly hope Mr. Burr will receive sufficient encouragement to this first number to authorize him to proceed with his publication. The contents of this one are --- Michigan, Maine, Ohio, 25 miles round New York, and the Netherlands.



Condition Description
5 maps, plus title page and testimonial page.
David Hugh Burr Biography

David H. Burr studied law, passing the New York Bar Exam, and then surveying under Simeon DeWitt in New York. His first atlas was an atlas of New York State (1829), the second state atlas to be issued in the US (after Mills’ Atlas of South Carolina in 1826). In the 1830s, he served as the official topographer for the US Post Office, producing a series of rare and highly sought-after large-format state maps. He also created a map of the country’s postal routes, which features roads, canals, and railroads. Burr traveled to London to work with John Arrowsmith; together, they produced the American Atlas in 1839.

Upon his return to the States, Burr was appointed as a draftsman for the House of Representatives, where he worked until ca. 1841. He later worked for the Louisiana Survey and the Florida Survey. By 1850, he was back in Washington D. C., working on the census. In 1852, the Senate named Burr as the draftsman to compile maps from the Federal Surveys. In 1853, Burr traveled to San Francisco, perhaps as part of his work for the Senate. He was then named as the Surveyor General of Utah in 1855. However, he was unpopular there and returned to Washington D. C. by 1870. Burr is widely regarded as one of the most important names in the nineteenth-century American history of cartography.