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Alvin Jewett Johnson (1827 - 1884) was an American map publisher. Born in Wallingford, Vermont, he received only a basic public education, but he still served as a school teacher for several years before moving to Richmond, Virginia and, in 1857, New York City. Johnson also worked as a book canvasser for the map publisher J.H. Colton.

Johnson's name first appears on maps published with Samuel N. Gaston and D. Griffing Johnson (no clear relation) in the mid-1850s, and his name (along with Ross Browning) appeared on Colton's atlas maps of 1859 and 1860. Although map historian Water Ristow speculates that Colton sold his copyrights to Johnson and his business partner, fellow Vermonter Browning, a more likely theory is that Johnson and Browning financially bailed out the Colton firm in exchange for the right to use Colton’s existing copyrighted map plates. The first Johnson maps were mostly reissues of earlier Colton maps. Indeed, Johnson's earliest works described his firm as the “Successors to J. H. Colton and Company”. Johnson converted the original Colton steel plate engravings to lithographic stones, allowing his firm to produce more maps at a lower price point. 

In 1860, the Johnson firm published its first significant work, the Johnson’s New Illustrated (Steel Plate) Family Atlas. The first edition of the Atlas bears imprints in both New York and Richmond, VA. In 1861, however, following the outbreak of the American Civil War, the Johnson & Browning firm abandoned their Richmond location. Browning seems to have remained in Virginia to pursue other ventures and, in 1861, Browning’s portion of the firm was purchased by Benjamin P. Ward. The 1863 issue of the Atlas was one of the most unusual, it being a compilation of older Johnson and Browning maps, updated 1862 Johnson and Ward maps, and newer 1863 maps with a revised border design.

The 1864 issue of the Atlas is the first true Johnson and Ward atlas. Johnson published one more edition in partnership with Ward in 1865, after which Johnson becomes the sole publisher. The next issue of the Atlas, 1866, is the first purely Johnson atlas with all new map plates, updated imprints, and copyrights. Johnson maps include a unique border style, which changed over the years, but was not copied by other makers. These include a “strapwork border” from 1860 to 1863, a “fretwork border” from 1863 to 1869 and a “spirograph border” in 1870. 

In addition to the Family Atlas, Johnson issued numerous wall maps, pocket maps, and, in the 1880s, the Cyclopedia. Johnson frequently updated his western atlas maps and on occasion, more than one update appeared in a single year. Johnson continued to publish the Family Atlas until 1887. In 1879, Johnson brought his son into the business, and their publications have the imprint “A.J. Johnson and Son” and, later, “A.J. Johnson and Co.” Johnson’s son continued the business until it shuttered in 1887.

Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
44414
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
46174
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
46924
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
53178
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
60187
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
63165
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
20 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
64318
Place/Date:
New-York / 1862
Size:
24 x 17.5 inches inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
38400
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
51453
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
56093
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
56452
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
15.5 x 12.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
63415
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
63520
Place/Date:
New York / 1862
Size:
24 x 16 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
64465
Place/Date:
New York / 1863
Size:
16 x 10.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
48914
Place/Date:
New York / 1863
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
54552
Place/Date:
New York / 1863
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
55854
Place/Date:
New York / 1863
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
56120
Place/Date:
New York / 1863
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
56235
Place/Date:
New York / 1863
Size:
26 x 16 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
56803
Place/Date:
New York / 1863 circa
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG-
Stock#:
58406
Place/Date:
New York / 1863
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG-
Stock#:
59361
Place/Date:
New York / 1863
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
Stock#:
63485
Place/Date:
New York / 1864
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
56573
Place/Date:
New York / 1865
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
56499
Place/Date:
New York / 1865
Size:
24 x 16 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
62677
Place/Date:
New York / 1865
Size:
23 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
62816
Place/Date:
New York / 1866
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
47497
Place/Date:
New York / 1866
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
63038
Place/Date:
New-York / 1867
Size:
17 x 24 inches inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
62905

Archived

Place/Date:
New-York / 1855
Size:
26.5 x 16 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
38401
Place/Date:
New-York / 1855
Size:
26.5 x 16 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
45912
Place/Date:
New York / 1860
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
Stock#:
14270
Place/Date:
New York / 1860
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
15048
Place/Date:
New York / 1860
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
15051
Place/Date:
New York / 1860
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
4558p
Place/Date:
New York / 1860
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
4559p
Place/Date:
New York / 1860
Size:
13.5 x 11 inches (x2)
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
16908
Place/Date:
New York / 1860
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
17000
Place/Date:
New York / 1860
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
Stock#:
20664
Place/Date:
New York / 1860
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
30288
Place/Date:
New York / 1860
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
32855
Place/Date:
New York / 1860
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
32872
Place/Date:
New York / 1860
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
38866
Place/Date:
New York / 1860
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
41379
Place/Date:
New York / 1860
Size:
15 x 12 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
41403
Place/Date:
New York / 1860
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
42513
Place/Date:
New York / 1860
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
42656
Place/Date:
New York / 1860
Size:
20 x 13 inches
Condition:
Stock#:
42898
Place/Date:
New York / 1860
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
45572
Place/Date:
New York / 1860
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
48133
Place/Date:
New York / 1860
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
48728
Place/Date:
New York / 1860
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
50870
Place/Date:
New York / 1860
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
52538
Place/Date:
New York / 1860
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
56875
Place/Date:
New York / 1860
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
61164
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
1095p
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
4900
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
5458
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
7639
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
7646
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
8735
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
m0821
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
17252
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
m0812
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
25448
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
30287
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
32746
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
32807
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
15 x 9.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
35892
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
24 x 17 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
35987
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
36256
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
16 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
40429
Place/Date:
New York / 1861
Size:
20 x 13 inches
Condition:
Stock#:
41076