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Description

Early Appearance of Colorado Territory / Arizona Below Colorado

A nice example of the scarce second edition of Mitchell's atlas map of the United States.

This map illustrates the evolving territorial borders of the Trans-Mississippi West. including two significant changes:

  • New Mexico is shown above Arizona, in what came to be known as the Baylor Line
  • Colorado Territory formed (1861)

Nebraska runs from the Rocky Mountains to Iowa and a massive Dacotah Territory includes all of Montana, Wyoming and part of Idaho. Washington Territory wraps around Oregon, incorporating much of modern day Idaho. Nevada is truncated at the bottom, putting Las Vegas in New Mexico. Its eastern border with Utah is also several degrees west of its final location, which would be moved out of concern for the Mormon influence in Utah.

The newly delineated Colorado is shown in its first year as a Territory. The map shows early explorers routes, forts, Indians, railroads, towns, rivers, mountains, etc., and is rich with topographical and historical information.

The map is a marvelous contrast from the 1860 edition, issued the prior year, with significant changes to the various western territorial borders and the first delineated appearances of Colorado, Nevada and Arizona, along with a significant change in Dacotah Territory, Nebraska Territory and Kansas Territory. 

Samuel Augustus Mitchell Jr. Biography

Samuel Augustus Mitchell Jr. inherited the Mitchell Company from his father in 1860. For over thirty years, the company had specialized in the production of school atlases and wall maps of America. They were one of the pioneers on engraving on steel plates. In 1860, Samuel Jr. released the New General Atlas, which had been compiled in house and replaced a previous atlas by Tanner. The elder Mitchell died in 1868 and Samuel Jr. continued the business until the 1890s. At its height, the Mitchell Company employed 250 people and sold 400,000 publications annually.