Philadelphia: Published by M. Carey, 1814. 3 preliminary leaves and 58 sheets of maps (50 double-page). Maps outlined in color. Tall folio. Antique style half calf and marbled boards. Titlepage with significant repaired damage, about 20% in upper fore-edge corner supplied in facsimile. Two preliminary text leaves also with paper repairs. The maps all pristine, with original outline color, and very fine. Except for the text leaves, a beautiful copy of this important early American atlas. Item #WRCAM53720
This is one of the earliest American atlases published in the United States. The first American atlas was issued in 1795, and was also published by Carey. That atlas contained only 21 maps, so the present 1814 atlas, with 58 maps, is much improved and expanded from the original effort. Most of the atlas is devoted to the United States and its territories, and incorporates the latest geographical knowledge available, by what was then one of the premier mapping firms in the United States. There are maps of virtually every state, including the North-Western, Michigan, Illinois and Indiana Territories. The western maps are particularly detailed, incorporating geographic information from recent explorations. The map of the whole North American continent and the excellent large detailed map of the United States and territories can lay claim to being the best available to that time. The other maps are of the West Indies, South America, Mexico, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and one of "Captain Cook's Discoveries" showing a large part of the North Pacific and as far south as the Hawaiian Islands.
Wheat points out that the map of Missouri Territory was influenced by the recent explorations of Lewis and Clark:
"Lewis and Clark influence is apparent on the Upper Missouri and also along the Columbia. Missouri Territory extends west to the Pacific Coast, its probable northern and southern boundaries being shown by colored dotted lines. The northern line runs easterly from Mt. Ranier and includes most of the Columbia watershed, thence north of the Missouri drainage and including that of the Assiniboin (with its large lake), thence east to Lake of the Woods and south to the head of the Mississippi, which then forms the eastern boundary. The southern line leaves the coast just north of F.S. Francisco (whose Bay is not shown), thence easterly and slightly north of the headwaters of the Rio Grande, following south along the ridge east of that stream, southeast to the head of the Colorado (of Texas) and down that stream to the Gulf of Mexico at St. Bernardo B. The State of Louisiana (admitted 1812) appears near the mouth of the Mississippi." PHILLIPS, ATLASES 722. STREETER SALE 82. WHEAT TRANSMISSISSIPPI WEST 315.