Illustrated Atlas of the United States and Adjacent Countries

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Illustrated Atlas of the United States and Adjacent Countries
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Illustrated Atlas of the United States and Adjacent Countries. T.G. Bradford. 1838. 14 x 17", 170pp. Beautifully hand colored engraved title page and maps by S. Stiles, Sherman & Smith, New York, others by G.W. Boynton. The Republic of Texas map is important in its own right, as a separate country. As an early map, it shows how undeveloped, and relatively unexplored west Texas was at the time.

The printing and distribution of this atlas in 1838 begs comment. America was in the throws of its first major economic crisis - a depression- caused in part by manipulation and failure of real estate backed bank currency. It also came at a time when there was significant westward expansion into areas not well known. The Appalachian "gold rush" of the 1828-1838 period had its mark on America, and on the engravers of these maps. Georgia, the center of the "rush" shows up on the map with notations of "gold" near Auraria and Dahlonega. The latter opened a US Branch Mint the year the atlas was published. Another significant part of the "rush" was in Rutherford County, North Carolina, and here, too, we see a note on mines. A Branch Mint opened in North Carolina that same year as well. Other notes of economic importance appear elsewhere, especially in areas rich in coal. Thus this Atlas has a strong, overwhelming current to it - the thought of HOPE - that America was going places, with unlimited potential.

Bradford's atlases are among the best and most important nineteenth century atlases. Bradford published an atlas in 1835, and immediately after this volume published a larger format in 20" length. He is credited with being one of the first to add lengthy descriptions of regional (state) geography with economic and political notes as well.

This copy is particularly nice, original in all respects, from the boards to the fly pages. Very little external wear. While there is minor water spotting/staining along the bottom edge front and back, there is no damage to the all-important plates. It contains the book plate of Nathan Appleton (1779-1861), an American textile industrialist, Congressman, and father in law to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Appleton would have treasured this atlas, glancing at the maps for hours at a time thinking about the places he'd been and wanted to go. He was a frequent traveler, more so than others, because it was recommended for his wife, who suffered from tuberculosis.
City: County: State: Date: 1838