Published by Edward Stanford in London on August 21st, 1861, Stanford's Map of the Seat of War in America. Sheet I. is a beautiful hand-colored lithographed folding map of the Mid-Atlatnic States. With its subject matter focused on the early stages of the American Civil War, this map serves as a valuable primary source from a tumultuous period in United States history.
In the larger context of the war, the map provides a European perspective on the conflict, illustrating the areas of intense military engagements. The map, dissected and mounted on linen, is preserved in its original case, attesting to the quality of its construction and the care taken in its preservation.
A series of cities between Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and Richmond, Virginia, including the prominent site of Gettysburg, are underlined in red. This highlights these locations' significance as key strategic points during the war, marking the trajectories of army movements and potential battlegrounds.
Perhaps most notably, the map's creation date places it during the first year of the Civil War, providing a snapshot of the conflict's early phase. This temporal positioning allows viewers to trace the progression of the war from its initial stages, offering valuable insights into the shifting geographical and strategic landscape of this critical period in American history.
Overall, Stanford's Map of the Seat of War in America. Sheet I. provides a vivid window into the geographical realities of the American Civil War, bridging the gap between historical events and their physical settings. It remains a significant map for scholars and collectors alike, offering a detailed and nuanced picture of the United States during a time of intense internal strife.
Edward Stanford (1827-1904) was a prominent British mapmaker and publisher. A native of Holborn in the heart of London, Edward was apprenticed to a printer and stationer at the age of 14. After his first master died, he worked with several others, including Trelawny W. Saunders of Charing Cross. Saunders oversaw young Edward’s early career, ensuring that he became a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. Associations with the Society eventually brought Sanders much business and gave him a reputation as a publisher of explorers. As testament to this reputation, the Stanford Range in British Columbia was named for him by John Palliser.
Stanford briefly partnered with Saunders in 1852 before striking out on his own in 1853. He was an agent for the Ordnance Survey, the Admiralty, the Geological Survey, the Trigonometrical Survey of India, and the India Office. He also controlled the maps of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, another lucrative source of income. In 1857, Stanford founded his namesake Geographical Establishment, with Saunders and A. K. Johnston as engravers. Thereafter, Stanford was known for his “library maps”, particularly those of Africa and Asia.
Although he had authored many maps, the Harrow Atlas of Modern Geography and a similar volume on classical geography, Stanford is better remembered today as the leader of a successful map business. Ever in search of more inventory, he acquired the plates and stock of John Arrowsmith, heir of the Arrowmsith family firm, in 1874. By 1881 he employed 87 people at his premises at 6 Charing Cross Road, Saunders’ old address. As he aged, he phased in his son Edward Jr. to run the business. He died in 1904. The business survived him, and the Stanford’s shop is still a prominent London landmark today.