Following the American Revolution there was a burgeoning domestic production of cartography. Up to this point the market had been dominated by British published material with very little locally produced. One of the first American pioneers in this new market was Matthew Carey (1760-1839). Born in Dublin, Ireland, he was dropped at just a year old by his nurse and sustained lifelong injuries as a result. Possibly therefore he became a shy child and hid himself in books. From an early age he wanted to be a book printer and publisher. He wrote his first piece, against duelling, when he was 17 years old. He wrote a tract anonymously in support of the Catholics which brought about a reward of £40 for his arrest by a conservative group. He left for Paris where he was introduced to Benjamin Franklin. He worked with Franklin at his press in Passy before returning to Ireland where he set up a newspaper. Within a year, he had incurred the wrath of the government and was committed to Newgate Prison for a short while. With a new prosecution impending he fled following his release for America on 7 September 1784 by dressing as a woman.
He arrived in Philadelphia with just 12 guineas to his name. He received a summons from General Lafayette who gave him $400. On 25 January 1785, he published the first issue of the ‘Pennsylvania Herald’ which supported the conservative party. It proved to be a success. However, it drew him in to a bitter dispute ending in a duel with Colonel Oswald, the editor of the ‘Independent Gazetteer’ in January 1786 which left him badly wounded. In the thigh. He was one of the founders of the ‘Columbia Magazine’ and then published the ‘American Museum’.
Geographical texts were being published in the newly formed United States, the first was by Jedidiah Morse whose ‘American Geography’ in 1789 contained 2 maps. This was followed by Benjamin Workman’s ‘Elements of Geography’ with 3 maps. Collections of sea charts were available by Matthew Clark in 1790 and John Norman in 1791. The idea of a small America atlas or gazetteer was first demonstrated by Joseph Scott in 1795. Carey prepared his own ‘American Pocket Atlas’ the following year. Issued with 19 maps of the United States there was a second edition in 1801. The edition of 1805 was expanded with a map to illustrate the Louisiana Purchase of 1803.
In this 1814 edition three further new maps were introduced; those of the Upper Territories, Mississippi Territory and Missouri Territory. The latter incorporates information from the Lewis & Clark expedition (Schwartz). There does exist in the Library of Congress an extremely rare 1813 edition which may have suffered during the War of 1812. It contains the same maps, but only one other example could be traced at auction in the last 40 years, lacking all maps. The folding tables at the end include population statistics from the Census of 1810 and Export figures for each state.
A good example with a fine frontier provenance. In 1818 Louisville was growing rapidly, within 10 years it would have a population of 7,000. It is interesting to see from the text that even in 1810 Kentucky had 2,000 distilleries! Provenance: with manuscript notation at the back of ‘Paul Jaminiere, Louisville Kentucky 5 December 1818’; Andrew Cumming, January 2000; Burden collection. Howes C137; Phillips 1372 & 4523; Ristow 151; Sabin 10856; Schwartz & Ehrenberg (1980) p. 231.