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Colton’s Peru and Bolivia
This 1855 map of Peru and Bolivia shows topographical features, cities, towns, forts, rapids, and rivers. National and regional boundaries are marked in pink, green, yellow, and blue. An inset map of Lima, the capital of Peru, appears in the lower-left-hand corner. In the upper right are the River Madeira, forming part of the border between Peru and Brazil, and the Amazon, the upper parts of which are known in Peru as the Marañón and in Brazil as the Solimões. A note indicates the navigability of the River Ucayali up ...
European Turkey as the Theater of War between the Turks and the Russians
This map shows southeastern Europe during the Crimean War (1853−56) that pitted Russia against the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) and its allies Britain, France, and Sardinia. The western European powers backed the Turks in order to block Russia’s expansion into the Black Sea region, which they believed threatened their positions in the Middle East and the Mediterranean. Many of the war’s major battles were fought on the Crimean Peninsula in southern Russia, which, ironically, is not shown on this early map of the “theater of war.” The conflict ...
Colton's Persia, Arabia, Et cetera
This map showing the Arabian Peninsula, Persia (present-day Iran), Afghanistan, and Baluchistan (present-day Iran and Pakistan) was published in 1855 by J.H. Colton & Company of New York. Coloring is used to indicate borders and certain provinces or settled areas. The map shows cities, mountains, and roads, and includes some notes on topographical features. The old Qatari city of Al Zabara is shown. The map is accompanied by a one-page summary of the geography, people, principal places, and recent history of Afghanistan and Baluchistan. The map later appeared in the 1865 edition of Colton’s General Atlas and reflects the general level of geographic knowledge of the Middle East in mid-19th-century America. J.H. Colton & Company was founded in New York City, most likely in 1831, by Joseph Hutchins Colton (1800–93), a Massachusetts native who had only a basic education and little or no formal training in geography or cartography. Colton built the firm into a major publisher of maps and atlases by purchasing the copyrights to and republishing other maps before it began creating its own maps and atlases ...
Map of the Near East
German geographer and cartographer Heinrich Kiepert (1818–99) is generally regarded as one of the most important scholarly cartographers of the second half of the 19th century. He was head of the Geographical Institute in Weimar between 1845 and 1852 and professor at the University of Berlin from 1852 until his death. Shown here is Kiepert’s 1855 map of the Near East, which appeared in the Kiepert’s Neuer Hand-Atlas über alle Teile der Erde (Kiepert’s new portable atlas of all parts of the world), published by Dietrich ...
Commentary of Husayn
Tafsīr-i Ḥusaynī (Commentary of Husayn) is a commentary on the Qur’an, transcribed in two volumes. The original commentary was written in 1504 (910 AH), but this copy was made in 1855–57 (1272–74 AH) by Wali ul Din. The first volume of this manuscript covers the chapters (surahs) in the Qur’an from Fatihah (Opening verse) to Kahf (The cave); the second volume the surahs from Maryam (Mary) to Al-Nās (The people). The manuscript is beautifully transcribed on handmade paper, with commentary devoted to each concept, word, or ...
Adalbert Stifter (1805–1866) was one of the greatest stylists of German literature. He began his career in the spirit of Austrian Biedermeier by writing stories for the bourgeois reading public. The theme of these stories, which first appeared in popular journals and almanacs, was often the humanization of the elemental. Stifter later thoroughly revised these works, which led to their publication in his Studien of 1844–50 and Bunte Steine of 1853. After the revolutionary upheavals of 1848, Stifter distanced himself from contemporary trends. Der Nachsommer (Indian summer), the ...
The Breath of Perfumes
Ahmed Mohammed al-Maqqari (1591–1632 AD, 992–1041 AH) was an Arab historian who wrote one of the oldest histories of Muslim Spain. He was born in Tlemcen, in present-day Algeria, and at times lived and worked in Morocco and in Egypt. His most important work, Nafh at-teeb (The breath of perfumes), consists of two parts. The first is a compilation from many authors on Andalusia and its history, including descriptions of the main Andalusian cities and the lifestyles of their peoples. The second part is a biography of the ...
Colton's Japan: Nippon, Kiusiu, Sikok, Yesso and the Japanese Kuriles
J.H. Colton & Company was founded in New York City, most likely in 1831, by Joseph Hutchins Colton, a Massachusetts native who had only a basic education and little or no formal training in geography or cartography. Colton built the firm into a major publisher of maps and atlases by purchasing the copyrights to other maps and re-publishing them. Most of the Colton maps were of individual states or groups of states in the United States, but some were of other countries. This 1855 map of Japan is attributed to ...
The State Penitentiary, for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
This print is a bird's eye view of the prison built in 1823–36 at 2101–99 Fairmount Avenue, Philadelphia, after the designs of John Haviland. It shows the prison designed with radial corridors, courtyards, and a Gothic-style entranceway and outer wall. It was also known as Cherry Hill State Prison and was one of the largest and most expensive structures of its day. It was most unusual in having flush toilets and heating in the cells. A horse-drawn wagon is visible within, and another, probably a paddy wagon ...
Shad Fishing (Taking up the Net)
This print shows shad fishermen working near Philadelphia, across the Delaware River from New Jersey. Several of the men are African American. They stand waist deep in the river, gathering up their catch into a rowboat. Visible in the foreground and background are residential buildings and a local church, a Philadelphia pier, the mills of Gloucester, New Jersey, and sailboats on the river. The print is by James Fuller Queen, a Philadelphia lithographer and pioneer chromolithographer known for his attention to detail who produced many views of the city.
The Philadelphia Society for Alleviating the Miseries of Public Prisons
This document is a membership certificate for the Philadelphia Society for Alleviating the Miseries of Public Prisons. The society was founded in 1787 by prominent Philadelphia citizens, including Benjamin Franklin and Dr. Benjamin Rush, with the aim of correcting abuses in the city jail. The lithograph contains a vignette with a portrait bust of Bishop White, the long-time president of the organization, and a bird's-eye view of the buildings and grounds of Eastern State Penitentiary. The paragraph at the bottom describes this institution, also known as Cherry Hill State ...
Leaves of Grass
Walt Whitman (1819–92) is generally considered to be the most important American poet of the 19th century. He published the first edition of his major work, Leaves of Grass, in 1855. For the remainder of his life, Whitman produced further editions of the book, ending with the ninth, or "deathbed," edition in 1891–92. What began as a slim book of 12 poems was by the end of his life a thick compendium of almost 400. Whitman regarded each version as its own distinct book and continuously altered the ...
Louisa Van Velsor Whitman, Head-and-Shoulders Portrait of a Woman, Facing Slightly Left
Walt Whitman is generally considered to be the most important American poet of the 19th century. Of English and Dutch ancestry, he was born on May 31, 1819, in West Hills, Long Island, New York, the second of nine children. This daguerreotype by an unidentified photographer dates from around 1855, the year that Whitman published the first edition of his major work, Leaves of Grass, and shows his mother, Louisa Van Velsor Whitman (1795–1873). Emotionally close to Louisa, Whitman once told a friend: “How much I owe her! It ...