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The Second American-Published Atlas
In a Strong Example
Atlas/ Early American Printing.
REID, J./ WINTERBOTHAM, W. [New York, 1796]
The American Atlas; . . . New-York: Published by John Reid, Bookseller ad Stationer, No. 106, Water-Street. 1796.
Original boards somewhat stained & worn, re-backed & corners re-newed. 21 maps, including the Ellicott plan of Washington, DC not in table of contents. Title-page and two map with early hand color. Maps on thick, crisp paper, with, relative to this work, minor flaws: the right margin of the Maine, as usual, with some repairs and folded over; abrasion resulting in the loss of a few letters on the Vermont map; otherwise a few light stains. Most maps with strong impressions; overall near excellent.
A pioneering work of American cartography, “the second American Atlas published in the United States” (Rumsey). This is an especially strong copy with the maps on thick paper, with dark impressions, and all with ample margins. Included here and often lacking is the excellent re-engraving of Ellicott’s version of the first plan of Washington, DC. (“A limited number of copies included a map of Washington, D. C.”—Rumsey.)
The atlas consists of folio-size maps of the states existing at the time as well as one of the “Tennessee Government.” The engraving is of very good quality, nine of the maps being from the hand of Benjamin Tanner. Other engravers who are noted on the maps are David Martin, D. Anderson, John Scoles, and John Roberts. The atlas was published by Reid to accompany Winterbotham’s An Historical, Geographical Commercial and Philosophical View of the United States, but since most known copies of the atlas exist independent of this work, it must have also been issued separately.
Rumsey no. 845; Phillips 1216; Ristow, American Maps and Mapmakers, pp. 153-54; Wolter/ Grim, Images of the World, p. 302.