Colton's Persia, Arabia, Et cetera


This map of Persia (present-day Iran), the Arabian Peninsula, and neighboring countries originally appeared in the 1865 edition of Colton’s General Atlas. It extends from a part of Egypt (the Nile Delta) in the west to Afghanistan in the east and reflects the general level of geographic knowledge of the Middle East in mid-19th century America. 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. 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. In the 1850s, the firm became the G.W. & C.B. Colton Company, after Colton brought his sons, George Woolworth Colton (1827–1901) and Charles B. Colton (1832–1916), into the business. As in this example, virtually all Colton maps were framed in decorative borders of intertwining vines, flowers, or geometric shapes.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

J.H. Colton & Company, New York


Title in Original Language

Colton's Persia, Arabia, &c.

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 map : color ; 29 x 36 centimeters


  • Scale approximately 1:15,000,000

Last updated: February 12, 2016