One of the earliest obtainable maps of the District of Columbia to appear in a commercial atlas.
Includes a detailed plan of Washington DC, Georgetown and Alexandria and a number of roads and rivers in the District. Muds Tavern is shown just outside the District on the Fredericktown Turnpike. Carey & Lea's Atlas is highly prized not only for its cartographic information but the marvelous information about each of the states and territories included. The atlas was issued in 6 editions in English, French & German between 1822 and 1827.
Carey & Lea
Henry Charles Carey (1793-1879) was the son of Mathew Carey, who was one of the most important figures in early American map publishing. He and Isaac Lea (1792-1886), took Mathew Carey's publishing firm into the 1820s and '30s. Madeline Stern called Carey & Lea the first American "publisher in the modern sense". They were exceptionally successful, not just with their atlas, which paved the way for American commercial cartography in the 19th century, but also with literature and reference works, such as The Encyclopedia Americana.
The firm became M. Carey & Sons upon being joined by Isaac, in 1821 or '22, when Isaac married Mathew's daughter Frances Ann Carey (1799-1873). Matthew Carey retired in 1824 (or '25), but even before that, it seems that the younger partners were publishing under exclusively their own names. Shortly after the elder Carey's retirement, the firm officially became H. C. Carey & I. Lea. Matthew's younger son, Edward L. Carey, joined the firm in the mid-1820s and the firm then became Carey, Lea & Carey. In 1829, Edward left the partnership. In 1833, William Blanchard joined the firm and they were renamed Carey, Lea & Blanchard.
Both Carey and Lea had impressive careers in addition to their publishing; Lea as a natural historian, and Carey as an economist, author, and advisor to President Abraham Lincoln.
A Complete Historical, Chronological, and Geographical American Atlas (1823)
This map comes from Carey & Lea's A Complete Historical, Chronological, and Geographical American Atlas. The Carey and Lea Atlas, as it is often called, was one of the most important early atlases, produced in any significant number, in America. It dedicated maps to each state, and it is noteworthy for its inclusion of a groundbreaking map of the American Plains, which includes information from Stephen H. Long.
Carey & Lea's Atlas is highly prized not only for its cartographic information but the marvelous information about each of the states and territories that are included. The atlas was issued in 6 editions in English, French & German between 1822 and 1827.
Fielding Lucas Jr. was the primary engraver on the atlas, and he carried over considerable experience from his own atlases published in the roughly five years prior.
Henry Charles Carey (1793-1879) was an American geography publisher and businessman. He was the son of Mathew Carey and carried on the family publishing company in partnership with his brother-in-law, Isaac Lea. Henry worked in his father’s business from a young age. At twelve, he managed a store selling his father’s publications. At fifteen, he was the firm’s financial manager. In 1817, he became a junior partner, which changed the company’s name to Carey & Son.
In 1822, Mathew Carey brought in a new junior partner, Isaac Lea, who had married Henry’s sister, Frances Anne. In the same year, Mathew Carey left the business, with Henry buying out his father’s share. His younger brother briefly joined the business, but left by 1829, when the firm was named Carey & Lea. William A. Blanchard joined the firm in 1833, causing another name change to Carey, Lea & Blanchard. Henry retired in 1835, leaving the firm as Lea & Blanchard.
Henry had outside interests, including political economy. He published Principles of Political Economy in 1837. He also wrote Past, Present, and Future (1848), Principles of Social Science (1858-1860), and The Unity of Law (1872). In the 1850s, he was very active in organizing the nascent Republican Party. He died in 1879.
Isaac Lea (1792-1886) was an American publisher and geologist. Raised a Quaker in Delaware, he turned away from pacifist teachings and joined the militia in the War of 1812. After marrying Frances Anne, the daughter of publishing magnate Mathew Carey, Lea became a junior partner of Carey & Son in 1822. Mathew Carey left the firm in the same year and Isaac Lea worked primarily with his brother-in-law, Henry Charles Carey.
The pair conducted business as Carey & Lea, during which time they published A Complete Historical, Chronological and Geographical Atlas from 1822 to 1827. This work included roughly twenty maps engraved by Fielding Lucas Jr., as well as an American edition of Starling’s Cabinet Atlas. However, the firm increasingly turned away from cartographic publications.
By 1829, after the brief participation of Edward Carey, Henry’s younger brother, the company became known as Carey & Lea. William A. Blanchard joined the firm in 1833, causing another name change to Carey, Lea & Blanchard. Henry retired in 1838, leaving the firm as Lea & Blanchard.
Isaac Lea was not just a publisher, but an avid researcher with aptitude for geology. He was a member of the American Academy of Natural Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. He retired from publishing in 1851 and turned increasingly to geological research, results of which he published until his death in 1886.