John Melish. “View of the Country round the Falls of Niagara.” From Travels through the United States. Philadelphia: J. Melish, 1818. 6 1/4 x 4 1/4. Engraving. Very good condition.
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A small map of the vicinity of Niagara Falls, by one of the seminal figures in the history of American cartography. John Melish was the first American publisher to issue exclusively cartographic and geographic items. Born in Scotland and involved in the textile industry, Melish visited the United States several times beginning in 1806, finally deciding to settle there in 1811. Melish had made many notes on his travels about the country and in 1812 he published Travels in the United States of America, which included his first maps and which started him on his cartographic career. Melish came to dominate the industry in this country, and had a huge impact on all subsequent American mapping. This map appeared in his Travels, but it was also sold separately, as stated in an advertisement in Melish’s 1819 Traveler’s Directory, “Octavo Maps of Philadelphia, New York, Baltimore, Boston, Pittsburg, Zanesville, Falls of Niagara, Falls of Ohio, East End of Lake Ontario and Montreal-12 1/2 cents, each.”