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Alvin Jewett Johnson (1827 - 1884) was an American map publisher. Born in Wallingford, Vermont, he received only a basic public education, but he still served as a school teacher for several years before moving to Richmond, Virginia and, in 1857, New York City. Johnson also worked as a book canvasser for the map publisher J.H. Colton.

Johnson's name first appears on maps published with Samuel N. Gaston and D. Griffing Johnson (no clear relation) in the mid-1850s, and his name (along with Ross Browning) appeared on Colton's atlas maps of 1859 and 1860. Although map historian Water Ristow speculates that Colton sold his copyrights to Johnson and his business partner, fellow Vermonter Browning, a more likely theory is that Johnson and Browning financially bailed out the Colton firm in exchange for the right to use Colton’s existing copyrighted map plates. The first Johnson maps were mostly reissues of earlier Colton maps. Indeed, Johnson's earliest works described his firm as the “Successors to J. H. Colton and Company”. Johnson converted the original Colton steel plate engravings to lithographic stones, allowing his firm to produce more maps at a lower price point. 

In 1860, the Johnson firm published its first significant work, the Johnson’s New Illustrated (Steel Plate) Family Atlas. The first edition of the Atlas bears imprints in both New York and Richmond, VA. In 1861, however, following the outbreak of the American Civil War, the Johnson & Browning firm abandoned their Richmond location. Browning seems to have remained in Virginia to pursue other ventures and, in 1861, Browning’s portion of the firm was purchased by Benjamin P. Ward. The 1863 issue of the Atlas was one of the most unusual, it being a compilation of older Johnson and Browning maps, updated 1862 Johnson and Ward maps, and newer 1863 maps with a revised border design.

The 1864 issue of the Atlas is the first true Johnson and Ward atlas. Johnson published one more edition in partnership with Ward in 1865, after which Johnson becomes the sole publisher. The next issue of the Atlas, 1866, is the first purely Johnson atlas with all new map plates, updated imprints, and copyrights. Johnson maps include a unique border style, which changed over the years, but was not copied by other makers. These include a “strapwork border” from 1860 to 1863, a “fretwork border” from 1863 to 1869 and a “spirograph border” in 1870. 

In addition to the Family Atlas, Johnson issued numerous wall maps, pocket maps, and, in the 1880s, the Cyclopedia. Johnson frequently updated his western atlas maps and on occasion, more than one update appeared in a single year. Johnson continued to publish the Family Atlas until 1887. In 1879, Johnson brought his son into the business, and their publications have the imprint “A.J. Johnson and Son” and, later, “A.J. Johnson and Co.” Johnson’s son continued the business until it shuttered in 1887.

Place/Date:
New York / 1866
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
47497
Place/Date:
New York / 1863
Size:
16 x 10.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
48914
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
53178
Place/Date:
New York / 1863
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
54552
Place/Date:
New York / 1863
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
56091
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
56093
Place/Date:
New York / 1863
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
56120
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
56452
Place/Date:
New York / 1863
Size:
26 x 16 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
56803
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
58599
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
60187
Place/Date:
New York / 1865
Size:
23 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
62816
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
15.5 x 12.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
63415
Place/Date:
New York / 1863
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
Stock#:
63485
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
63520
Place/Date:
New York / 1863
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
65097
Place/Date:
New York / 1863
Size:
15 x 12 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
65124
Place/Date:
New York / 1863
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
65183
Place/Date:
New York / 1866
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
65519
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
44414
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
46174
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
63712
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
17 x 24 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
64587
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
64848
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
65047
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
65454
Place/Date:
New York / 1863 circa
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG-
Stock#:
58406
Place/Date:
New-York / 1862
Size:
24 x 17.5 inches inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
38400
Place/Date:
New York / 1865
Size:
24 x 16 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
62677
Place/Date:
New-York / 1867
Size:
17 x 24 inches inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
62905
Place/Date:
New York / 1867
Size:
23 x 17 inches
Condition:
Good
Stock#:
65072
Place/Date:
New York / 1863
Size:
13 x 16 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
65150
Place/Date:
New York / 1867
Size:
24 x 16 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
65544
Place/Date:
New York / 1866
Size:
17 x 23 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
65634

Archived

Place/Date:
New York / 1864
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
0649
Place/Date:
New York / 1864
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
0765
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
0790
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
26.5 x 16 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
0982
Place/Date:
New York / 1865
Size:
23 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
0984
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
24 x 16 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
10204
Place/Date:
New York / 1863
Size:
26.5 x 16 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
10205
Place/Date:
New York / 1865
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
10206
Place/Date:
New York / 1863
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
10207
Place/Date:
New York / 1867
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
10574
Place/Date:
New York / 1863
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
10575
Place/Date:
New York / 1864
Size:
23 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
10576
Place/Date:
New York / 1865
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
Good
Stock#:
10750
Place/Date:
New York / 1865
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
Good
Stock#:
10751
Place/Date:
New York / 1867
Size:
20 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
10783
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
24 x 16 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
10789
Place/Date:
New York / 1864
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
10790
Place/Date:
New York / 1865
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
10791
Place/Date:
New York / 1864
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
10792
Place/Date:
New York / 1864
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
10797
Place/Date:
New York / 1864
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
1111
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
26.5 x 16 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
12597
Place/Date:
New York / 1865
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
1131
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
11396
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
11397
Place/Date:
New York / 1864
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
1150
Place/Date:
New York / 1864
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
1172
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG-
Stock#:
11849
Place/Date:
New York / 1865
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
12700
Place/Date:
New York / 1864
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
1280
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
13382
Place/Date:
New York / 1864
Size:
17 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
13907
Place/Date:
New York / 1864
Size:
15.5 x 12.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
13912
Place/Date:
New York / 1863
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
1415
Place/Date:
New York / 1863
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
24268
Place/Date:
New York / 1863
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
1479