Clive A. Burden LTD. Rare Maps, Antique Atlases, Books and Decorative Prints

The Mapping of North America

Mr. Philip D. Burden​
P.O. Box 863,
Chalfont St. Giles, Bucks HP6 9HD,
Tel: +44 (0) 1494 76 33 13

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John Mitchell (1711-1768) was born in Virginia but was educated in Edinburgh where he studied medicine. He returned to Virginia in 1731 and began his practice. His hobby was botany but by 1746 he had developed poor health. In that year he and his wife moved to London where he set up as a botanist in exotic plants. By 1748 he became a member of the Royal Society, a group for like-minded scientists. He developed the idea of producing a large format scale map of the American colonies to highlight the threat posed by the French territorial encroachments. That map was eventually published in 1755 and is arguably one of the most important of the American colonies ever published.

His meticulous research included examining the original charters for each of the colonies. The details of this were published in ‘The Contest in America Between Great Britain and France’, offered here, and published in 1757 to coincide with the second edition of the map. The ‘Monthly Review’ commented that the work ‘abounds with truths, hitherto, perhaps, not generally attended to, and with observations and proposals, that indicate the Author’s knowledge of the subject.’ Provenance: Washington Sewallis Earl Ferrers (armorial bookplate) – Library of Ernest E. Keet with bookplate. AND (with incorrect dates); Church (1907) 1018; ESTC T34013; Howes (1962) M676; Pritchard & Taliaferro (2002) 33; Sabin (1868-1936) 49693; Simmons (1996) 1757#28; Vail (1970) 520.


The Contest in America Between Great Britain and France, with its Consequences and Importance ... By an Impartial Hand

A. Millar in the Strand, London, 1757
FIRST EDITION. Octavo (205 x 125 mm), full contemporary calf, boards abraded in red, rebacked with gilt ruled raised bands, each compartment with blind central ornate feature and punctures, calf gilt title label, speckled fore edge. With typographic title page, pp. xlix, (4), 18-244, blank corner torn from B4, otherwise in good condition.
Stock number: 10929


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