Alexander Keith Johnston (1804–1871)

Alexander Keith Johnston (28 December 1804 - 9 July 1871) was a Scottish geographer.

He was born at Kirkhill near Edinburgh. After an education at the high school and the University of Edinburgh he was apprenticed to an engraver; and in 1826 joined his brother (who would become Sir William Johnston, lord provost of Edinburgh) in a printing and engraving business, forming the well-known cartographical firm of W. and A. K. Johnston.

His interest in geography had developed early, and his first important work was the "National Atlas of General Geography", which gained for him in 1843 the appointment of Geographer Royal for Scotland. Johnston was the first to bring the study of physical geography into competent notice in England. His attention had been called to the subject by Alexander von Humboldt; and after years of labour he published his magnificent "Physical Atlas" in 1848, followed by a second and enlarged edition in 1856. This, by means of maps with descriptive letterpress, illustrates the geology, hydrography, meteorology, botany, zoology, and ethnology of the globe. The rest of Johnston's life was devoted to geography, his later years to its educational aspects especially. His services were recognised by the leading scientific societies of Europe and America. He died at Ben Rhydding, Yorkshire, in 1871.

Johnston published a "Dictionary of Geography" in 1850, with many later editions; "The Royal Atlas of Modern Geography", begun in 1855; an atlas of military geography to accompany Alison's "History of Europe" in 1848 seq.; and a variety of other atlases and maps for educational or scientific purposes.

His son Alexander Keith Johnston (1844-1879) was also the author of various geographical works and papers; in 1873-1875 he was geographer to a commission for the survey of Paraguay; and he died in Africa while leading the Royal Geographical Society's expedition to Lake Nyasa.

External links

* [http://davidrumsey.com/worldatlases.html DavidRumsey.com] has high resolution digital versions of A.K. Johnston's 1856 "Physical Atlas of Natural Phenomena" and 1861 "Royal Atlas of Modern Geography."
* [http://stabikat.sbb.spk-berlin.de:80/DB=1/SET=5/TTL=1/MAT=/NOMAT=T/REL?PPN=13443045X Works by and about Alexander Keith Johnston] in the Berlin State Library.


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  • Alexander Keith Johnston (1804–1871) — Alexander Keith Johnston (* 28. Dezember 1804 in Kirkhill, South Lanarkshire; † 9. Juli 1871 in Ben Rhydding, Yorkshire) war ein schottischer Geograph und Forschungsreisender, Kupferstecher und Kartograph. Alexander Keith Johnston besuchte, für… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Alexander Keith Johnston (1844–1879) — Alexander Keith Johnston (* 24. November 1844 in Edinburgh; † 28. Juni 1879 am Rufiji im heutigen Tansania) war ein englischer Kartograph und Forschungsreisender. Alexander Keith Johnston, Sohn des gleichnamigen Kartographen Alexander Keith… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Alexander Keith Johnston — ist der Name folgender Personen: Alexander Keith Johnston (1804–1871), schottischer Geograph und Forschungsreisender, Kupferstecher und Kartograph Alexander Keith Johnston (1844–1879), englischer Kartograph und Forschungsreisender, Sohn von… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Alexander Keith Johnston — may mean either of a father son pair of Scottish geographers:*Alexander Keith Johnston (1804 1871) *Alexander Keith Johnston (1844 1879) …   Wikipedia

  • Alexander Keith Johnston (1844–1879) — Alexander Keith Johnston (1844, November 11 in Edinburgh ndash; 1879, June 28 in Tansania) was a Scottish explorer and geographer.He was the son of Alexander Keith Johnston (1804 1871).From 1873 to 1875 he was geographer to a commission for the… …   Wikipedia

  • Alexander Keith (disambiguation) — Alexander Keith may refer to :* Alexander Keith (brewer) (1795 1873), Canadian brewer * Alexander Keith (Free Church minister) (1781 1880), Scottish clergyman * Alexander Keith, Jr. (born 1827), Canadian mass murderer * Alexander M. Keith (born… …   Wikipedia

  • JOHNSTON, ALEXANDER KEITH —    cartographer, born at Kirkhill, Midlothian; was an engraver by trade, and devoted himself with singular success to the preparation of atlases; the National Atlas was published in 1843, and the Royal Atlas of Geography (1861) was the finest… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Johnston — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Abby Johnston (* 1989), US amerikanische Wasserspringerin Albert S. Johnston (1803–1862), General der Konföderierten während der Sezessionskriege Alexander Keith Johnston (1804–1871), schottischer Geograph …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Johnston [2] — Johnston (spr. dschonnst n), 1) James, Chemiker, geb. 1796 in Paisley, Schüler von Berzelius, war seit 1833 Professor in Durham, wo er 18. Sept. 1855 starb. Er schrieb: »Lectures on agricultural chemistry and geology« (1842, 2 Bde.; 17. Aufl. von …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Johnston —   [ dʒɔnstən], Alexander Keith, britischer Kartograph, * Kirkhill (bei Edinburgh) 28. 12. 1804, ✝ Ben Rhydding (Metropolitan County West Yorkshire) 9. 7. 1871; gründete 1826 mit seinem Bruder Sir William Johnston (* 1802, ✝ 1888) eine… …   Universal-Lexikon

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