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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 / 1862
Size:
12 x 16.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
53920
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#:
46174
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
68900
Place/Date:
New York / 1860
Size:
16 x 12.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
69997
Place/Date:
New York / 1881 circa
Size:
12.5 x 8 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
70122
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
70593
Place/Date:
New York / 1864
Size:
15 x 12.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
71513
Place/Date:
New York City / 1862
Size:
17 x 12.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
71690
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
70368
Place/Date:
New-York / 1862
Size:
26.5 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
72003
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:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
72100
Place/Date:
New York / 1866
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
Good
Stock#:
65456
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
24.5 x 16.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
71359
Place/Date:
New York City / 1861
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
72830
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
23 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
73339
Place/Date:
New-York / 1861
Size:
17 x 24 inches inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
72513
Place/Date:
New York / 1864
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
71767
Place/Date:
New York / 1863
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
56448
Place/Date:
New York / 1864
Size:
17.5 x 22.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
74007
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
17 x 24 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
74043
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
70800
Place/Date:
New York / 1871
Size:
23 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
74853
Place/Date:
New York / 1865
Size:
15 x 12 inches
Condition:
Stock#:
74896
Place/Date:
New York / 1869
Size:
17 x 23 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
75756
Place/Date:
New York / 1864
Size:
26 x 16 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
73265
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
16.5 x 13 inches
Condition:
Stock#:
76243
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
20.5 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
74975
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 / 1861
Size:
24 x 16 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
73414

Archived

Place/Date:
New York / 1863
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
1415
Place/Date:
New York / 1865
Size:
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
m2008
Place/Date:
New York / 1871
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
3403
Place/Date:
New York / 1881
Size:
12 x 9 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
1470a
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 / 1865
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
6061
Place/Date:
New York / 1863
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
5304
Place/Date:
New York / 1863
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
5305
Place/Date:
New York / 1866
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
1364
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
4473
Place/Date:
New York / 1864
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
1111
Place/Date:
New York / 1864
Size:
23.5 x 17.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
6947
Place/Date:
New York / 1864
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
3691
Place/Date:
New York / 1864
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
4335
Place/Date:
New York / 1864
Size:
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
4337
Place/Date:
New York / 1865
Size:
23 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
4319
Place/Date:
New York / 1865
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
4331
Place/Date:
New York / 1867
Size:
24 x 17.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
4879
Place/Date:
New York / 1864
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
6440
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
20 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
9656
Place/Date:
New York / 1863
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
10575
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
5317
Place/Date:
New York / 1864
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
9652
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
9621
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
9625
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
9623
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
9665
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
24 x 16 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
9663
Place/Date:
New York / 1864
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
9653
Place/Date:
New York / 1864
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
9660
Place/Date:
New York / 1865
Size:
15.5 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
9932
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
9933
Place/Date:
New York / 1864
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
0765
Place/Date:
New York / 1863
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
5308
Place/Date:
New York / 1865
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
4330
Place/Date:
New York / 1863
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
24268
Place/Date:
New York / 1863
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
1550
Place/Date:
New York / 1865
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
m0289
Place/Date:
New York / 1866
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
1845
Place/Date:
New York / 1864
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
3537
Place/Date:
New York / 1867
Size:
23.5 x 7.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
m0302
Place/Date:
New York / 1866
Size:
23 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
m0304
Place/Date:
New York / 1863
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
m0312
Place/Date:
New York / 1863
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
m0313