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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 / 1861
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
87303
Place/Date:
New-York / 1862
Size:
26.5 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
87233
Place/Date:
New York / 1865
Size:
23 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
83225
Place/Date:
New York / 1863
Size:
16 x 12.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
86643
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
17 x 24 inches
Condition:
Stock#:
85868
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
84341
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
24 x 17.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
85275
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
24 x 16 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
78183
Place/Date:
New York / 1867
Size:
23 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
84881
Place/Date:
New-York / 1865
Size:
21.5 x 15.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
83210
Place/Date:
New York City / 1861
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
84322
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
84212
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
24.5 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
83570
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
80462
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
80652
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
15 x 12 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
78678
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
82761
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
15 x 12.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
80153
Place/Date:
New York / 1868
Size:
23 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
82572
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
24.5 x 16.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
78712
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
17 x 24 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
72779
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
81394
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
15.5 x 12.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
72538
Place/Date:
New York / 1869
Size:
23 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
81089
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
15.5 x 12.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
80711
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
26 x 16 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
80712
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
71512
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
15.5 x 12.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
80578
Place/Date:
New York / 1869
Size:
23 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
80279
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
17 x 24.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
80247
Place/Date:
New York / 1863
Size:
16 x 22 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
55877
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
74350
Place/Date:
New York / 1869
Size:
23 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
79311
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
76812
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
23.5 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
78715
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
12.5 x 15.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
78238
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
16.5 x 12.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
78327
Place/Date:
New York / 1866
Size:
15 x 11 inches Including Text
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
77950
Place/Date:
New York / 1867
Size:
17 x 23 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
77869
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
17 x 24 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
77763
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
15.5 x 12.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
76916
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
20.5 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
74975

Archived

Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
24 x 16.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
84342
Place/Date:
New York / 1865
Size:
23.5 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
82889
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
25 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
82954
Place/Date:
New York / 1865
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
82742
Place/Date:
New York / 1864
Size:
24.5 x 16.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
77948
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
17 x 24 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
82411
Place/Date:
New York City / 1862
Size:
24 x 18 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
81456
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
80713
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
76364
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
72394
Place/Date:
New York City / 1861
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
81090
Place/Date:
New York / 1867
Size:
23 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
80739
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
72537
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
72100
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
17 x 24 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
74042
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
23 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
80330
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
15.5 x 12.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
80283
Place/Date:
New York / 1865
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
70633
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
80187
Place/Date:
New York / 1869
Size:
17 x 23 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
80186
Place/Date:
New York / 1864
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
80147
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
Good
Stock#:
72278
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
78684
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
15 x 12.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
75709
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
78711
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
15.5 x 12.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
78727
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
24.5 x 16.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
71359
Place/Date:
New York / 1869
Size:
17 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
79349
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
23 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
79219
Place/Date:
New York / 1869
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
79111
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
12.5 x 15.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
78237
Place/Date:
New York / 1867
Size:
23 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
78368
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
24 x 15.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
78182
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
78077
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
78089
Place/Date:
New York / 1867
Size:
24 x 16 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
73413
Place/Date:
New York / 1869
Size:
23 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
77856
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
46174
Place/Date:
New York / 1865
Size:
23 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
77151
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
12.5 x 15.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
76870