Alvin J. Johnson and his role in 19th Century Map Making in America

by Ira S. Lourie

See also:
The U.S. Map Project's Rarity Index for Johnson Atlas Maps
The Atlases of A.J. Johnson
Cartographic Bibliography of A.J. Johnson

By the mid 1860s, the American atlas industry had matured into a thriving business. The major players in this field at that time were S. Augustus Mitchell and Joseph H. Colton. Mitchell had been publishing atlases since 1831, the year he first issued his New American Atlas, a reissue of Finely's similarly titled atlas of 1826 1 By the time he retired and handed over his business to his son, S. Augustus Mitchell, Jr., in 1860 2, he was the major publisher of atlases and maps in America. In that same year his company published the first edition of Mitchell's New General Atlas, which was published until 1879 by the Mitchell firm and from 1880 to 1893 by other publishers. 3Colton, who had been publishing maps since about 1833, 4 first published atlases in 1855, with the first edition of Colton's Atlas of the World Illustrating Physical and Railroad Geography. This grander, folio sized, and by 1856 two volume new atlas, and its 1857 successor, Colton's General Atlas, produced by this well known map publisher, quickly became a major competitor to Mitchell's maps and atlases. 5 Also in 1860, Alvin Jewett Johnson published another competing atlas, Johnson's New Illustrated (steel plate) Family Atlas, with Descriptions, Geographical, Statistical, and Historical. While Johnson was a newcomer to the map and atlas industry, and never gained the historical fame of either Mitchell or Colton, his atlases and its maps, published until 1887, appeared to have been popular, and, over the last decade, have become increasingly valued among collectors.

Johnson as a Book Salesman
Alvin Jewett Johnson, who signed his letters as A. J. Johnson, was originally a book seller who later in his career turned his attention towards publishing maps, atlases, and books. Johnson was born in Wallingford, Vermont, on September 23, 1827. He was a ninth-generation, direct descendant of Edward Jewett, who immigrated to America from England in 1639. 6 In 1851, he married Helena Warner of Sunderland, Massachusetts, and had a son and two daughters. 7

Johnson described his early life as coming from a poor family in which he was the eldest of 12 children. When he was 11 years old he began to work on farms for $5 a day plus board, work he continued until he was 21 years old. He came from a background in which sons owed their fathers time and dedication until they were 21 years of age, and Johnson "bought his time" back by offering his father $25 a year until he reached 21. At the same time he entered high school at the Black River Academy and was enrolled there until his education was completed, supporting himself during this time by working on farms in the summer and teaching lower school in the winter. When he was 22 years old, he moved to Lunenburg Court House in southern Virginia, where he taught for three years, during which time he married. Three years later in 1853, he returned to the North and started working as a book canvasser, selling books and atlases door to door by subscription. 8

Only a little detail is available about Johnson's early life as a book canvasser and it remains unclear as to where and exactly when it began and what products he was selling. However, in an 1868 letter to his major New England agent, Lewis W. Fairchild, Johnson described how he worked in Boston, as a "general agent" for Colton. 9 This is the first indication of a relationship between Johnson and Colton. It is not clear if Johnson exclusively sold Colton products, or sold other books as well during all or any of the years before coming to New York. This Fairchild letter also indicates that Johnson moved to Ohio after working for Colton in Boston.

Just prior to coming to New York to develop his publishing company, it appears as if Johnson's Ohio base where he lived and worked was Cleveland, Ohio. The New York City Directory first lists Johnson in their 1855-56 edition, describing him as a publisher living in Ohio. 10 In another 1868 letter to Fairchild, Johnson recalls that in 1855 his "old headquarters" were in Cleveland. 11 He indicates further in the same letter, that one of his helpers in Ohio was Browning, who was a joint publisher with Johnson from 1859 through 1862. Neither Johnson's nor Browning's name shows up in a city directory of Cleveland in the year immediately before either of them came from Ohio to New York. Unfortunately, there were no Cleveland Directories in the two years before that. Cleveland was, however, the home of a book and stationery dealer named Henry P. B. Jewett 12, who was a distant relative of Johnson, 13 and it is possible that Johnson used Jewett's business as his Cleveland base.

Johnson as a Map Publisher
The first evidence that Johnson entered the map publishing business comes from 1854. At that time, while still living in Cleveland, Johnson teamed up with Samuel N. Gaston, of New York, to produce a new map of the United States titled, "A New Map of our Country" 14. [Figure 1] The two of them also published the same map in 1855, which was attributed as being published in Cleveland as well as in New York; the same year, Johnson's name first showed up in the New York City directory, as a publisher and at an address later used by Gaston in 1856. 15 It is not clear the role that Johnson played in the financing and/or the production of the Map of our Country, but, in a letter to Fairchild, he referred to himself as the regional agent for the map. 16 The relationship with Gaston did not seem to lead far, and the next year, 1856, Gaston published the Map of our Country 17 and a two volume geography, The Diamond Atlas, with Charles Morse. 18


Figure 1. S.Gaston and A.J. Johnson, A New Map of our Country, 1856. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress.

In 1857, Johnson appears to have moved to New York, where the New York City Directory lists him as a map publisher, and as living in New York. In that same year, Johnson made what appears to be his second foray into the map publishing business when, with D. Griffing Johnson, he produced "A new map of the Union with the adjacent Islands and Countries, from authentic sources." 19 [Figure 2] D.G. Johnson had been a map engraver and publisher on his own from at least 1847, when Ristow notes he published a map, "Johnson's [D.G.] Illustrated & Embellished Steel Plate Map of the World on Mercator's Projection..", which was republished by Colton the next year. 20 Most evidence points to the fact that D.G. and A.J. Johnson were not related, but it is possible they were. It does not seem as if A.J. Johnson had the capacity at that time in his career to actually produce maps, and his relationship with D.G. Johnson was probably as a financial backer, similar to what appears to have been his original relationship with Gaston. Both the 1856-57 and 1858-59 New York City Directory's, list D.G. and A.J. Johnson at the same address in New York City. 21 After that, D.G. Johnson's name disappears from both map attributions and directory listings, and he died five years later in 1863. 22 A.J. Johnson was also involved in the publishing of several other single maps from 1858-61, including two with Wyckoff of Chicago, and one with both Colton and J.B. Jewett (a relative of Johnson's in Vermont). 23


Figure 2. D.G. Johnson and A.J. Johnson, A new map of the Union with the adjacent Islands and Countries, from authentic source. 1857.
Image courtesy of Davidrumsey.com.

Johnson's First New York Company: Johnson and Browning
Johnson began printing maps with Ross C. Browning in 1857 with Johnson's new railroad and township copper-plate map of Illinois, Iowa, & Missouri, from the latest and best authorities. [Figure 3] In 1858, they formed a company, in New York called Johnson and Browning, which was listed in the New York City Directory of 1858-59 as dealing in white lead (a substance used in printing).21 Browning had worked with Johnson in his Ohio book canvassing business 24 and did not move to New York until about a year later in 1859. 25 ,


Figure 3. Johson and Browning, Johnson's new railroad and township copper-plate map of Illinois, Iowa, & Missouri, from the latest and best authorities, 1857. Image courtesy of Davidrumsey.com.

Johnson's Relationship with Colton
Whatever the earlier relationship between Johnson and Colton had been, it appears to have gotten somewhatmore involved in 1859. By that time the Colton firm had come upon hard financial times. Bosse, in his article about the atlas canvasser Corydon Fuller, cited Fuller's diary as reporting, "On November 30, 1857, he received a letter from J.H. Colton and Company announcing their failure." 26 Bosse relates the Colton financial troubles to the recession following from the Panic of 1857, a period in which several major bankruptcies, following "a spurious economic boom fueled by speculation and over-expansion," led to a severe national recession. 27 As Bosse adds, "By mid-October most banks and brokerage houses had suspended cash payments and many were forced to close due to insufficient funds. Business closings became widespread, and unemployment soared in some cities." However, Fuller's diary goes on to indicate that the failure of the Colton firm did not affect his ongoing supply of atlases, 28 and he continued to work as his agent until August 1858. 29Johnson also indicated that he had "…Lost Heavily in 1857 during the panic…" 30

It appears that, in 1859, Johnson, and his financial partner, Browning, stepped in to support the flagging Colton firm. In that year, Johnson and his business moved to the same address as Colton's 31 and, in both 1859 and 1860, some of Colton's General Atlas were published by Johnson and Browning in addition to those published under the name of the J.H. Colton and Co, itself. As noted above, Johnson had known Colton for some years during the time he served as Colton's Boston agent.

The relationship with Johnson does not appear to have been a popular move within the Colton firm, and, when Johnson arrived, George Woolworth Colton, one of J.H. Colton's sons, and his primary successor, moved out to another address where he remained until about 1865, the year that the elder Colton retired and Johnson's close relationship with Colton seemed to end 33 and took over the role of producing railroad maps for the firm of Henry Poor, the editor of the Manual of Railroads, a task formerly performed by the firm of David McLellan. 34 After G.W. Colton returned to his father's company, he ran it with this brother Charles B. Colton, as G.W. and C.B. Colton & Co., until about 1892 or 1893, at the time that their father, J.H. Colton, died. 35

Eighteen fifty nine was also the year that Johnson published a new map with D.G. Johnson, Johnson's New Illustrated & Embellished County Map of the Republics of North America. 36 (See figure 4) There is some evidence that Colton also owned this map, as 1860 and 1861 editions were noted as being published by "J.H. Colton....edition for Johnson & Browning, Richmond, 1860 [and 1861].36 In addition, A.J. Johnson also used part of this map as his California and southwestern states map in his early editions his atlas (Fig. 5) and Colton used the same map, California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona & New Mexico, in his atlases starting in 1864 (Fig 6), the year Johnson stopped using it in his.


Figure 4. D.G. Johnson and A.J. Johnson, Johnson's New Illustrated & Embellished County Map of the Republics of North America. 1859.
Image courtesy of Davidrumsey.com.


Figure 5. Johnson and Ward, Johnson's California, Territories of New Mexico and Utah, 1860. Image courtesy of Davidrumsey.com.


Figure 6. Colton, Colton's California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona & New Mexico, 1864. Image courtesy of Davidrumsey.com.

Johnson moved into his own building in 1860, but continued to publish maps with Colton, 37 including the 1860 and 1861 editions of Johnson's new illustrated & embellished county map of the republics of North America and another titled Johnson's new railroad & county copper plate map of the southern states. New York, Johnson & Browning, 1860, 38 which although having no Colton attribution appears to have been published as a Colton map in 1866 39 and was most likely produced by him.

Johnson's Family Atlas: a Further Connection to Colton
In 1860, the first edition of Johnson's New Illustrated (Steel Plate) Family Atlas, with Descriptions, Geographical, Statistical, and Historical, was published by the firm of Johnson and Browning. This document was strongly connected to Colton, and appears to be the ultimate pay off by him to Johnson for his financial support. All of the maps in the Family Atlas were derived from Colton maps, with some being identical to those in Colton's General Atlas. On the title page, Johnson acknowledges the relationship with Colton with the attribution, "Compiled, drawn, and engraved under the supervision of J.H. Colton and A.J. Johnson." However, Johnson then goes one step further and announces that the atlas is, "Published by Johnson and Browning, formerly (successors to J.H. Colton and Company)." Whether or not Johnson really thought in 1860 that he was successor to the Colton firm is unclear, but in spite of his declaration as "successor", which he used through his 1865 edition, Colton himself produced editions of his General Atlas from 1860 to the 1890's. The use of the language, "..formerly (successors to..", which was used by Johnson from 1860 to 1863, and was replaced in 1864 and 1865 by only the word "..successors..", either represents some 1860 idiomatic language about which this author is not knowledgeable or is a misprint, in which Johnson used the word "former", because he originally thought that he had taken over the Colton firm, and forgot to remove it when he replaced it with softened language "successors", as it became clear that the Colton firm would continue. [see Figure 7]


Figure 7. Title Page from the first edition of Johnson's Family Atlas, 1860. Image courtesy of Davidrumsey.com

Ristow came to conclusion that Colton sold his maps to Johnson, based on their use in the Family Atlas, and on the language used in the attributions on the title pages. 40 However, this might not be the case and it appears more likely that Johnson only traded his financial support of Colton for the right to use the maps in his new atlas. This view is supported by the fact, described above, that in 1864 the Colton firm started using the 1860 Johnson California and southwestern states map after Johnson had stopped using it in that same year in favor of his own new map of the same region. Further evidence comes from the fact that, in 1874-5, Frank Gray also used some of the same Colton maps in his atlases. Gray appears to have purchased the rights to use these maps from Colton rather than Johnson, as the derivatives of Colton's maps used by Gray reflect changes that were not present in the last state of those same maps that Johnson used, but were in Colton's contemporary states of the same maps.

Johnson began replacing Colton derived maps in his atlases as early as 1863, and by the end of 1865 had replaced 19 out of the 26 original maps with those drawn by his own company. Even though the formal relationship between the Johnson and Colton firms ended by that time, Johnson appeared to have retained the license to use Colton's maps, at least for a limited period of time. By the end of the next year, 1866, only two of the original Colton maps remained in the Family Atlas; those were replaced in 1868.

Johnson's collaboration with Browning only lasted until 1862. Browning never spent much time in New York. As stated before, he worked for Johnson in Cleveland as part of the book canvassing business. Browning appeared to have moved to New York in 1858 or 1859 and by 1860 was listed as living in Virginia, 41 where he most likely served as a southern region office for atlas and map sales. During 1860 and 1861, while most copies of the Family Atlas were published with title page stating that the volume was "Published by Johnson & Browning…New York," there are a number of examples in which the title page states that the volume was "Published by Johnson & Browning…Richmond, Va." These Richmond atlases are identical to the New York versions other than the title page, and it is not known if they were produced in Richmond as well as sold out of there or whether they were printed in New York.

Browning, while living in Virginia, continued in business with Johnson and to be listed as a co-publisher of the Family Atlas until sometime in 1862. There is no information about the nature of the breakup between Johnson and Browning, but in an interview Johnson indicated that he had lost "…severely in Richmond, Virginia, where I had a publishing house when the war broke out…" 42 Browning returned to New York City in 1862, after which he is listed as being in the "Clothes Wringer" business. 43

Johnson and Ward
Benjamin P. Ward was Johnson's next business partner. Ward was a book canvasser who appears to have taken over the position as Johnson's major western map and book agent, based in Cleveland, Ohio. 44 As Browning left in 1862, Johnson's company became Johnson & Ward and the Family Atlas was noted as being published by Johnson and Ward. Ward is listed in the New York City Directory as being in the book business at Johnson's address starting in 1863, however he didn't appear to move to New York until 1865; prior to that he was listed in a Cleveland city directory as being a publisher there in 1863. 45 This report is confirmed by the New York City Directory of the same year listing him as living in Ohio 46 and by 1864-65 the Chicago Directory 47 listing him as living in that city. Ward's relationship with Johnson did not survive long after he came to New York, and by 1866 Ward was gone from the business. In an 1868 letter to his New England agent Lewis Fairchild, Johnson insinuates that Ward did such a poor job that Johnson had to buy him out; in this letter Johnson neglects to mention the time Ward spent in New York, only describing how Ward's headquarters had been in Cleveland, and then how he moved from Cleveland to Chicago then to New England,. There are no dates associated with these events, Ward may never have come to New York, and the buyout may have occurred in 1866. In this letter, Johnson, in discussing sales in the "whole West", describes his relationship with Ward in his own words,

"Mr. Ward said he could do it and I elected Cleveland-my old headquarters and now Rowe's-as his headquarters. He [Ward] soon found out that he could not begin to reach the West from Cleveland and before he 2/3 [two-thirds] finished the territory in reach of Cleveland, he was obliged to move to Chicago, and before he had got half under way with Chicago as center, he took it into his head that he could over run New England in the same style as he was doing in the West, and then after N.E. was finished the West could be completed by moving the N.E. [sales]force into the West. I approved of this reluctantly, for I knew he did not drill his agents, yet my health was poor and I was in the country with my family and did not want to come back to the city immediately. So he came on and the result was, as you know, a rout of his forces, horse, foot and dragoon, and I was obliged to buy him out and resurrect the business almost from the dead." 48

From 1866 on, the company was named, and the atlases published by Johnson alone. Ward's name disappeared from the 1866-67 New York City Directory, and returned for only one year in 1867-68 edition, listed as a "Secretary." Ward did show up again, in the late 1870's, doing business with Johnson, as a Rochester, New York, distributor for Johnson's Cyclopaedia, which was published from 1875 to 1885. 49

Johnson as a Book and Encyclopedia Publisher
Even though Johnson's Atlases, published by the Johnson firm until 1887, were popular and had gained a place of prominence in the field, he was, at heart, a book publisher. In the New York City Directory 1855-93 editions, Johnson's business is listed differently in various years: sometimes as a publisher, sometimes as maps, and other times as books. In 1867, the Johnson firm began to publish books. Several of these have been identified with publication dates from 1867 to 1880. In fact, in his letters to Fairchild, Johnson is mostly concerned about the sales by canvassing of a book he has published, West's Analysis of the Holy Bible, 50 and rarely mentions the atlases. 51 Also mentioned in the Fairchild Letters are three other books referred to as Natural History, Facts, and Crafts. 52, 53

Johnson's great dream was to produce a world class encyclopedia and in the decade of the 1870's he placed most of his energy on that task. In 1871, he started working on Johnson's new Universal Cyclopaedia, which he felt was his greatest accomplishment. 54 This task took eight years and was not completed until 1879. During this period, much of the firm's resources appear to have been allocated to the publishing of the Cyclopaedia, to the detriment of atlas production . This is evidenced by the fact that, prior to 1875, a new edition of the Family Atlas was published every year, but for the years 1875 and 1876, when Johnson was busy publishing the first volumes of the Cyclopaedia, no copies of the Family Atlas have been discovered and it is assumed that they were not published. 55 The first of four volumes of the Cyclopaedia was completed in 1873, 56 although it was not distributed until 1874 57 with an 1875 publication date. Volume two was published in 1876, Volume three in 1877, and Volume four in 1878. The Cyclopaedia was published by Johnson's firm until 1885. It was republished by Adams, in 1893, a year or so after the time that the Johnson firm appears to have closed and maps from an 1896 edition have been seen for sale.

Johnson's Legacy
In 1875, Johnson's son, William Warner Johnson, was taken into the firm as a partner, the year after he graduated from Columbia University. 58 For the next five years, the firm was known as A.J. Johnson and Son. While an 1878 edition of the Family Atlas had a few of the maps which were attributed as being "Published by A. J. Johnson and Son," it was not until the 1879 edition of the that the atlas and almost all of the maps were attributed as being "Published by A. J. Johnson and Son" and by 1880 all of the maps. Even though his son remained in the business, the publishing attribution for both the atlases and maps again changed in 1881 to A.J. Johnson and Company.

Johnson died on April 22, 1884 at the relatively young age of fifty-six of unknown causes. His son appears to have run the firm as A.J. Johnson and Company from that date to when the business appears to have closed in 1891 or 1892. 59 The atlases were published until 1887, but were produced without change from the 1884 edition on indicating that the map production part of the firm ceased when Johnson died. The Johnson firm produced an 1885 edition of the Cyclopeadia. No further new publications nor new editions of other books have been identified as being published by the firm after Johnson died, and his son most likely continued to sell previously developed material.

Alvin Jewett Johnson was a true American entrepreneur. After working his way up from a humble beginning, first by selling door-to-door, then by publishing and directing a nationwide sales force, he had an impact on both the map and book publishing industries in the country. As evidenced in his letters to Fairchild, A.J. Johnson was a man of very strict sense of how to run a business, running it like a military organization calling his salesmen, forces, and his primary sales agents, Maj. Generals. 60 He often referred to "our way" of sales, which really appears to mean, "my way". While his atlases and maps have never themselves been seen as cartologically important, his impact in helping the Colton firm avoid financial failure was. His Family Atlases, and the maps from them, remain highly collectable documents. The maps, themselves, having been updated every year, accurately reflect the expansion of the country, showing the growth of cities, towns and counties, as well as the emerging state boundaries in the west, and the development of the railroads nationwide. Johnson's friendships and connections with influential people of his time, such as his long term friendship with Horace Greeley, 61 as well as his ability to produce a high quality atlas at a reasonable price, made him an ideal ambassador for the atlas as an essential household tool. 62

  1. Ristow, W.W., American Maps and Mapmakers, Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1985, p.303

  2. Ristow, W.W., op.cit., p313

  3. Ristow, W.W., ibid.

  4. Ristow, W.W., ibid.

  5. Bosse, D., "A Canvasser's Tale," The Map Collector, No. 57, Winter, 1991, p.22

  6. Jewett, F. C., History and Genealogy of the Jewetts, Vol. 2, New York: Grafton Press Genealogical Publishers, 1908, p.671

  7. Jewett, F. C., op. cit., p. 671

  8. Much of the information for this section on Johnson's early history came from an interview Johnson gave as the host of a celebration of Horace Greeley's 61st birthday and chronicled in: Wingate, C.F., Sketch of the Celebration of the Sixty-first Birthday of the Hon. Horace Greeley, LL.D., at the residence of his Intimate Friend, Mr. Alvin J. Johnson, Printed not Published, New York, 1872, pp. 15-19. Similar information was found in an obituary: "The Hand of Death. Sketch of the Career of A.J. Johnson, the Well-known Publisher," Boston Herald, Tuesday, April 22, 1884.

  9. Johnson, A.J., Letter to Lewis W. Fairchild, October 12, 1868, 1868, Fairchild Letters, New Haven, CT:Yale University Library, Manuscript Division, Box 1, Folder 5, "September-October, 1868"

  10. Trow's New York City Directory, H. Wilson, Compiler, for the year ending May 1, 1856. New York: John F. Trow, 1855-56 edition

  11. Johnson, A.J., Letter to Lewis W. Fairchild, October 17, 1868, 1868, Fairchild Letters, New Haven, CT:Yale University Library, Manuscript Division, Box 1, Folder 5, "September-October, 1868

  12. Found in various Cleveland city directories published between 1852 and 1859.

  13. Jewett, F. C., op. cit., p. 671

  14. Map in the Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress: A new map of our country, present and prospective, compiled from Government Surveys and other reliable sources. Published by Gaston and Johnson. New York, 1854. Call number G3700, 1854, .G3, TIL. The 1855 edition is identical with the date, 1855; its call number is G3700, 1855, .G3, TIL.

  15. Map in the Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress: A new map of our country, prospective and present, compiled from Government Surveys and other reliable sources. Published by Morse and Gaston. 115 & 117 Nassau Street, New York, 1856. Call number G3700, 1856, .G3, TI

  16. Johnson, A.J., Letter to Lewis W. Fairchild, October 17, 1868, 1868, op. cit.

  17. Map in the Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress: A new map of our country, prospective and present, compiled from Government Surveys and other reliable sources, Published by Morse and Gaston . op. cit.

  18. Colby, Charles. The Diamond Atlas, descriptions of all countries exhibiting their actual and comparative extent and their present political divisions. Founded on the most recent discoveries and rectifications. By Charles Colby, AM, editor of "Morse'e General Atlas of the World". Two volumes: The Western Hemisphere and The Eastern Hemisphere. New York: Samuel N. Gaston, 1857.

  19. Map in the Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress: A new map of the Union with the adjeacent Island and Countries, from authentic sources. Published by D.G. & A.J. Johnson, Trinity Building, 111 Broadway, New York, 1857 (stored under United Stated, "A new map of the Union")

  20. Ristow, W.W., op.cit., p.318.

  21. Trow's New York City Directory, H. Wilson, Compiler, for the year ending May 1, 1859. New York: John F. Trow, 1858-59 edition

  22. Obituary in the New York Evening Post, Friday, April 9, 1863.

  23. There are a number of maps by Johnson in the Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress which are listed in this website's
    Cartobibliography of A. J. Johnson.

  24. Johnson, A.J., Letter to Lewis W. Fairchild, October 17, 1868, 1868, op. cit.

  25. Trow's New York City Directory, H. Wilson, Compiler, for the year ending May 1, 1860. New York: John F. Trow, 1859-60 edition

  26. Bosse, D., "A Canvasser's Tale," The Map Collector, No. 57, Winter, 1991, p.26

  27. Bosse, D., op cit, p.26

  28. It is of note that, in the Colton atlases of 1857 and 1858, the maps lacked the ornate well-known Colton border, which was replaced with a plain black line, in what appears to be a cost cutting measure

  29. Bosse, D., op cit., p26

  30. Wingate, C.F., Sketch of the Celebration of the Sixty-first Birthday of the Hon. Horace Greeley, LL.D., at the residence of his Intimate Friend, Mr. Alvin J. Johnson, Printed not Published, New York, 1872, p. 17

  31. Trow's New York City Directory, 1859-60 edition, op. cit.

  32. Trow's New York City Directory, New York: John F. Trow, 1859-1865 editions

  33. The earliest of such maps found by this author in the Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress tells an interesting story. The map is: Colton's Map of the United States of America, the British Provinces , Mexico, the West Indies and Central America with part of New Granada and Venezuela, together with a map of the North Eastern part of the United States and Canada in counties. New York, Published by Horace Thayer. No. 18 Beekman Street, 1861. The first part of this map was "drawn by Geo. W. Colton" and had previously been published by the J.H. Colton firm in 1957-1859. G.W. Colton then began to publish maps under his own name at Thayer's Beekman Street address.

  34. A. Modelski, Railroad maps of North America, Washington: Library of Congress, 1984, p.42

  35. Ristow, W.W., op cit, p.326

  36. Map in the Map Division of the New York Public Library: Johnson's New Illustrated & Embellished County Map of the Republics of North America, with the Adjacent Islands and Countries. Compiled, Drawn & Engraved from United States Land and Coast Surveys, British Admiralty & other reliable sources. By D. Griffing Johnson, Pub. By A.J. Johnson, New York & Washington, 1859. The 1860 edition is in the Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress; the 1861 edition in the Map Division of the New York Public Library.

  37. Phillips, P.L., A List of Maps of America in the Library of Congress, Washington, Government Printing Office, 1901, (1967 reprinted edition, Amsterdam:Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, 1967)

  38. Map in the Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress: Johnson's new railroad & county copper plate map of the southern states, from the latest and best information. Published by Johnson & Browning, 172 William Street, New York, 1860.

  39. Philips, P.L., op. cit., p.914.

  40. Ristow, W.W., op cit., p.325

  41. Trow's New York City Directory, New York: John F. Trow, 1859-1861 editions

  42. Interview published in: Wingate, C.F., Sketch of the Celebration of the Sixty-first Birthday of the Hon. Horace Greeley, LL.D., at the residence of his Intimate Friend, Mr. Alvin J. Johnson, Printed not Published, New York, 1872.

  43. New York City Directory, Trow's New York City Directory, New York: John F. Trow, 1862-1893 editions

  44. Johnson, A.J., Letter to Lewis W. Fairchild, October 17, 1868, 1868, op. cit.

  45. Boyd's Cleveland Directory, and Cuyahoga County Business Directory for 1863-4. Cleveland, OH: Andrew Boyd, 1863.

  46. Trow's New York City Directory, New York: John F. Trow, 1863-1866 editions

  47. John C. Bailey's Chicago City Directory for the year 1864-65, Chicago: John C. Bailey, 1864.

  48. Johnson, A.J., Letter to Lewis W. Fairchild, October 17, 1868, 1868, op. cit.

  49. Johnson's New Universal Cyclopaedia, Frederick A.P. Barnard and Arnold Guyot, eds., New York: A.J. Johnson [& Son][& Co.], editions from 1875 to 1885.

  50. West, Nathaniel, The complete analysis of the Holy Bible, New York: A.J. Johnson, 1867.

  51. Johnson, A.J., Letters to Lewis W. Fairchild, 1867-1868, op. cit.

  52. Goodrich, S. G., Johnson's natural history, comprehensive, scientific, and popular, illustrating and describing the animal kingdom with its wonders. New York: A.J. Johnson and Cleveland, OH: F.C. & A.C. Rowe, 1868; Robinson, Solon, Facts for Farmers, New York: A.J. Johnson and Cleveland, OH: F.C. & A.C. Rowe, 1867; Crafts has not yet been identified. Other books published by A.J. Johnson are listed in the appendix, The Identified Works of A.J. Johnson.

  53. A.C. Rowe, who co-published several books with Johnson in 1867-8, was the same Rowe mentioned in the Fairchild letter quoted previously, and was listed as a book agent in the Cleveland directory of these same years. He published together with F.C. Rowe (most likely his brother), who was a Cleveland publisher.

  54. Johnson, A.J., "Preface", Johnson's new Universal Cyclopaedia, op cit.; Johnson's close friend Horace Greeley apparently encouraged Johnson to undertake the creation of the Cyclopaedia as noted in the book, Parton, J., The Life of Horace Greeley; Editor of the New York Tribune, Houghton, Mifflin and Company, Boston, 1889, p. 556

  55. Until recently, 1872 and 1878 were also on this list of years without the discovery of a Family Atlas. But two 1872 and one 1878 altases have been discovered, and there is a possibility that ones for 1875 and 1876 may also be discovered at some time in the future.

  56. Johnson, A.J., "Preface", Johnson's new Universal Cyclopaedia, Vol. 1., op cit.

  57. Johnson, A.J., "Preface", Johnson's new Universal Cyclopaedia, Vol. 1, op cit.

  58. Jewett, F. C., op. cit., p. 671

  59. While William Warner Johnson joined the firm in 1875 and the firm name of A.J. Johnson & Son was used on books from that date through 1880; the 1877 edition of the Atlas was published as A.J. Johnson, and only was published with the "& Son" addition in 1879 and 1880.

  60. The New York City Directory continues to list the A.J. Johnson and Co. firm until 1893. William W. Johnson was listed as a publisher until that date, and then for one year was listed as a "pres." He is not found in later editions.

  61. Johnson, A.J., Fairchild Letters, op cit.

  62. Johnson's relationship with Greeley started in 1860 and continued to Greeley's death in 1872. Greeley lived at times over those years, and both himself and his wife lived at Johnson's house during their dying illness in late 1872, shortly after Greeley lost the 1872 presidential election. Earlier in 1872, Johnson hosted a party at his house for Greeley's 61st birthday. These events are documented in the following sources discovered on Google Books: Ingersoll, L.D., The Life of Horace Greeley: Founder of the New York Tribune, Union Publishing, Chicago, 1873, p. 571; Reavis, L.U., A Representative Life of Horace Greeley, G.W. Carlton and Co., London, 1872, pp.169-71; Parton, J., The Life of Horace Greeley; Editor of the New York Tribune, Houghton, Mifflin and Company, Boston, 1889, pp. 554-56; and, Wingate, C.F., Sketch of the Celebration of the Sixty-first Birthday of the Hon. Horace Greeley, LL.D., at the residence of his Intimate Friend, Mr. Alvin J. Johnson, Printed not Published, New York, 1872.