Edinburgh: A. & C. Black, 1859. Bartholomew, J. unbound. Map. Color lithograph. Image measures 17.25" x 23.75"
This map of the United States offers an up-to-date description of the country in 1857, only a few years before the outbreak of the Civil War. The salience of the issue of slavery is apparent in the map's design, as text in the key provides a space for an alternate color for slave states. However, interestingly, the coloring on this copy of the map uses two colors of an extremely subtle difference, downplaying the division in the Union. Westward expansion is another topic of interest, with railroads in their various states of completion labeled as per a key. Two proposed railways set across the impassable expanse of the Central Rockies demonstrate the hope and vigor with which industrialists and settlers alike regarded the prospect of expansion. Along with Texas and California, the map includes the large territories of Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas, New Mexico, Utah, Oregon and Washington. The map was published in Black's General Atlas of the World. It is in very good condition. Discoloration to side margins not affecting the image. Adam Black (1784-1874) was a Scottish publisher and politician who, with his brother Charles, founded the A & C Black publishing company. Together they published a wide range of materials, including atlases, medical books, and the 7th, 8th and 9th editions of the Encyclopedia Britannica. This map is a fine example of their work.