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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 / 1881 circa
Size:
12.5 x 8 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
70122
Place/Date:
New York / 1871
Size:
23 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
74853
Place/Date:
New York / 1869
Size:
17 x 23 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
75756
Place/Date:
New York / 1867
Size:
17 x 23 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
77869
Place/Date:
New York / 1866
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
Good
Stock#:
65456
Place/Date:
New York / 1866
Size:
15 x 11 inches Including Text
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
77950
Place/Date:
New York / 1865
Size:
15 x 12 inches
Condition:
Stock#:
74896
Place/Date:
New York / 1864
Size:
15 x 12.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
71513
Place/Date:
New York / 1864
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
71767
Place/Date:
New York / 1864
Size:
26 x 16 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
73265
Place/Date:
New York / 1864
Size:
17.5 x 22.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
74007
Place/Date:
New York / 1863
Size:
16 x 10.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
48914
Place/Date:
New York / 1863
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
56448
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
12 x 16.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
53920
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
68900
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
70368
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
24.5 x 16.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
71359
Place/Date:
New York City / 1862
Size:
17 x 12.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
71690
Place/Date:
New-York / 1862
Size:
26.5 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
72003
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
23 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
73339
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
16.5 x 13 inches
Condition:
Stock#:
76243
Place/Date:
New York / 1862 circa
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
76364
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
76733
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
24 x 17.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
76831
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
15.5 x 12.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
76916
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
17 x 24 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
77763
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
78089
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#:
70593
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
70800
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
72100
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
72163
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
Good
Stock#:
72278
Place/Date:
New-York / 1861
Size:
17 x 24 inches inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
72513
Place/Date:
New York City / 1861
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
72830
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
17 x 24 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
74043
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
20.5 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
74975
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
78077
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
24 x 15.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
78182
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
Stock#:
78327

Archived

Place/Date:
New York / 1885
Size:
8 x 12.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
70200
Place/Date:
New York / 1884
Size:
12 x 9 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
6005
Place/Date:
New York / 1884
Size:
12 x 9 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
6006
Place/Date:
New York / 1884
Size:
12 x 9 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
6014
Place/Date:
New York / 1884
Size:
12 x 8.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
6017
Place/Date:
New York / 1881
Size:
12 x 9 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
1470a
Place/Date:
New York / 1877
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
7596
Place/Date:
New York / 1877
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
30668
Place/Date:
New York / 1877
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
33532
Place/Date:
New York / 1875
Size:
24 x 16 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
24392
Place/Date:
New York / 1875
Size:
23 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
34694
Place/Date:
New York / 1875
Size:
23 x 16 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
35303
Place/Date:
New York / 1875
Size:
23 x 16.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
35899
Place/Date:
New York / 1875
Size:
23 x 16.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
38835
Place/Date:
New York / 1875
Size:
23 x 16 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
38981
Place/Date:
New York / 1875 circa
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
63254
Place/Date:
New York / 1875
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
65455
Place/Date:
New York / 1875
Size:
23 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
70514
Place/Date:
New York / 1871
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
3403
Place/Date:
New York / 1871
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
6945
Place/Date:
New York / 1871
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
34085
Place/Date:
New York / 1871
Size:
23 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
38533
Place/Date:
New York / 1871
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
38677
Place/Date:
New York / 1871
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
74972
Place/Date:
New York / 1870
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
10847
Place/Date:
New York / 1870
Size:
23 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
6969
Place/Date:
New York / 1870
Size:
23 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
7055
Place/Date:
New York / 1870
Size:
23 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
8956
Place/Date:
New York / 1870 circa
Size:
24 x 16 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
27889
Place/Date:
New York / 1870 circa
Size:
17 x 21.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
29072
Place/Date:
New York / 1870 circa
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
32021
Place/Date:
New York / 1870
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
33844
Place/Date:
New York / 1870 circa
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
34988
Place/Date:
New York / 1870
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
36633
Place/Date:
New York / 1870
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
36260
Place/Date:
New York / 1870 circa
Size:
24 x 16 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
36976
Place/Date:
New-York / 1870
Size:
24 x 17 inches inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
38389
Place/Date:
New-York / 1870
Size:
24.5 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
38417
Place/Date:
New York / 1870
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
38638
Place/Date:
New York / 1870 circa
Size:
24 x 16 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
39476
Place/Date:
New York / 1870 circa
Size:
24 x 16 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
47921
Place/Date:
New-York / 1870
Size:
24.5 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
51021