World at One View
Illustrated World Map, New York: 1847

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World at One View
detail detail
Humphrey Phelps (copyright)
World at One View
Ensigns & Thayer, New York: c. 1847
Hand-colored lithograph
22.5 x 30 inches, overall

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Double hemisphere world pictorial map, printed as a broadside in horizontal format. The world map is surrounded by several illustrations and four text boxes, mostly containing population tables of world cities, countries, continents and world religions. Discussing the version of this map published in 1852, scholar Matthew Edney points out that the underlying message of the various illustrations presents a "vision of the United States of America as the next great world empire." He cites the bottom illustration -- a horizontal scroll of monuments from China through India, Egypt, Rome, Paris and London to New York at the far right. The message is also reinforced in a table of the highest buildings of the world, which lists grand Old World monuments like St. Peter's in Rome and the Egyptian pyramids, but also includes Boston's Bunker Hill Monument and Baltimore's Washington Monument. The 1847 version also includes an additional horizontal illustration at the top that explicitly positions the U.S. as an ascendant economic power, showing points along the journey from China on the left to the port of New York on the right, captioned, "Panoramic View of the Route to China, by the Oregon Railroad and the Pacific Ocean. This Road once Built, would become the Great Highway of Nations."

Each corner has a portrait of a man from a different continent set in a rectangular border, representing different races: Caucasian, "Mongul," Malay and African. An illustration spanning the width of the map shows "Female Costumes of the Different Parts of the World." To the left and right of the map are illustrations of relative heights of major mountain peaks, in the center a chart of the lengths of the world's rivers. In the title, an illustration of a Native American with a feather headdress and holding up a tomahawk overlaps the words “At” and "View."

Map geography shows national boundaries. Major cities, major rivers and bodies of water, and islands in the ocean are labeled; major mountain ranges are shaded. The border and portions of the surrounding illustrations are hand-colored in tints of yellow and green.

This 1847 map is the second version of five known maps with related titles, illustrations, and themes by related publishers. Pictorial View of the World, the original edition, was published by Humphrey Phelps, copyright 1846. It was on a vertical format, with a small double hemisphere map and various illustrations and statistical tables. World at One View was copyrighted by H. Phelps in 1847 and published by Ensigns & Thayer. It was on a horizontal format, with a larger double hemisphere map, and featured four corner illustrations of races of the world as well as illustrations including peoples of the worlds, and statistical tables. The World at One View was republished from the 1847 edition in about 1852 by Ensign, Bridgman & Fanning (adding "The" to the title). It was very similar to the 1847 edition, with minor variations. World at One View was copyrighted and published by Ensign, Bridgman & Fanning in 1854. It was on a vertical format and much larger than the 1852 edition. Like the 1847 and 1852 editions it had a double hemisphere map and featured four corner illustrations of races of the world as well as illustrations including peoples of the worlds, and statistical tables. It also added a time zone table. View of the World was the final and largest edition, published by Phelps & Watson, New York and Rufus Blanchard, Chicago in 1862. It was on a horizontal format with the world map on Mercator’s Projection. Like earlier examples it featured four corner illustrations of races of the world as well as illustrations including peoples of the world and statistical tables. It had two time zone tables and a more elaborate border design of peoples of the world. It also had illustrations of animals, scenery and people engaged in various activities, making it more akin to 20th Century pictorial maps.

The lithography firm of Humphrey Phelps (also known as Phelps, Humphrey) operated in New York City from 1841 to 1853, and at various times co-published work with Gaylord Watson and with Ensigns & Thayer. Phelps produced maps, prints and books, and are known for the "Phelps Guides" series of folding maps and wall maps for travelers, which he began producing in 1838.

Timothy and Edward Ensign were partners in a New York City printing firm, active in a series of partnerships between 1841 and 1861, working with Phelps and Humphrey, as Ensigns & Thayer (with Horace Thayer), and finally, as Ensign, Bridgman & Fanning. Over their career they produced a number of notable prints on subjects from American history as well as maps and U.S. traveler's guides.

Full publication information: "Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1847, by H. Phelps, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, for the Southern District of New York. Published by Ensigns, & Thayer, 36 Ann Street, New York.”


Edney, Matthew H. "Mapping Empires, Mapping Bodies: Reflections on the Use and Abuse of Cartography." Treballs de la Societat Catalana de Geografia, 63. 2007. pp. 92-93.

Peters, Harry T. America on Stone. U.S.: Doubleday, Doran, 1931. pp. 181 and 325 (Ensign, Phelps).

"The World at One View." David Rumsey Map Collection. 2010. (3 February 2014).

"World at One View." David Rumsey Map Collection. 2010. (3 February 2014).