Samuel Lewis. “The State of New Hampshire. Compiled chiefly from Actual Surveys.” From Carey’s American Atlas. Philadelphia: M. Carey, -1814. 17 3/4 x 11 1/4. Engraving. Original outline color. Very good condition.
The two most influential names in American cartography at the end of the eighteenth century were Mathew Carey and Samuel Lewis. Carey was the first major American publisher of maps and atlases, and his Atlas of 1795 is one of the landmarks of early American cartography because it contained some of the first printed maps of many states. He was one of the great citizens of Philadelphia and founder of the present-day firm of Lea & Febiger still located on Washington Square. Lewis was a celebrated draftsman, penman, cartographer and geographer who had previously published both independently and jointly with the English publisher Aaron Arrowsmith. His maps through Carey’s intercession had great impact.
Published shortly after the War of 1812, this map is from Carey’s American Atlas which represented the best American cartographic work of the period. Carey, an Irish immigrant, established the first specialized cartographic publishing firm. He set up an elaborate cottage system of craftsmen for engraving, printing, and coloring his maps utilizing the best independent artists directed to a common end. Important then, not only for the excellent maps he produced, but in his setting the pattern for early American map publishing, to be followed by the likes of John Melish and Henry S. Tanner. Carey became somewhat of a virtuoso in repackaging maps for use in different atlases, as with the Lewis map. These two great innovations allowed the firm to customize various works to individual clients’ requirements.