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The Mapping of North America

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THOMSON, John

A General Atlas

Edinburgh, 1819-[28?]
Quarto (340 x 260 mm.), engraved title page, Contents leaf, A Memoir of the History of Geography pp. 6, A Chronology of the Voyages of Discovery pp. 8, An Analysis of Physical Geography pp. 12, 2 tables, 43 (of 44 maps), map 7 missing, Indexes pp. 18. With 7 illustrations in the text. All in early outline colour. With waterstain to the lower portion of the first part of the book, 5 maps with surface dirt, that of England and Wales with repaired tear at the hinge.
John Thomson was born in 1777 to a merchant father in Edinburgh. He started business as a bookseller in Hunter Square, Edinburgh, in 1807. His first major publication was the ‘Traveller’s Guide’ of 1798 which ran to nine editions. ‘A New General Atlas’ was a superb folio production issued in 1817 and again successful with several later editions. In 1819 he published this reduced quarto size version clearly on the back of the folio atlases apparent success. The maps are engraved by N.R. Hewitt after Wyld. Moir I p. 143, the Scottish map not listed. Map number 39 of the United States is notable for being one of only 16 extant printed maps to record the short lived region, according to Ashley Baynton-Williams. Provenance: private English collection acquired 1949. There is also a fine large scale map of ‘Part of New South Wales’ with an inset view of Sydney. The last map in the atlas records the ‘Discoveries of Capt.s Ross, Parry & Franklin in the Arctic Regions from 1818 to 1827’. This example of the atlas is undoubtedly a later edition as the last map refers to the date 1827. Provenance: private collection of Rodney Shirley, acquired Cambridge 1949. Baynton-Williams, A, ‘Maps marking the American State of Franklin’, in ‘The Map Collector’ 72 pp. 12-17 no. 17; Worms & Baynton-Williams (2011).
Stock number: 7251

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