H.S. Tanner. “A New Map of Indiana with its Roads & Distances.” From Tanner’s Universal Atlas. Philadelphia: H.S. Tanner, 1843. 13 5/8 x 11 1/8. Engraving. Full original hand color. Very good condition.
An original antique map of Indiana by the great American cartographer, Henry Schenck Tanner. In 1816, Henry, his brother Benjamin, John Vallance and Francis Kearny formed an engraving firm in Philadelphia. Having had experience at map engraving through his work with John Melish, Tanner conceived of the idea of compiling and publishing an American Atlas, which was begun in 1819 by Tanner, Vallance, Kearny & Co.. Soon Tanner took over the project on his own, and thus began his career as cartographic publisher. The American Atlas was a huge success, and this inspired Tanner to produce his Universal Atlas, of more manageable size. This atlas contained excellent maps of each state, focusing on the transportation network, including roads, railroads and canals. All details are clearly presented, and these include towns, rivers, mountains, political boundaries and the transportation information. The maps were later purchased by S. Augustus Mitchell, and then Thomas, Cowperthwait & Co., but it is these early Tanner editions which are the rarest and most important. This map of Indiana is a good example of this work. Each county is indicated with a contrasting pastel shade, and the state is cris-crossed with roads, railroads and canals. A profile of the Wabash and Erie Canal is shown at the right and on the left is a table of steam boat routes. This is a very fine example of early American cartography at its best.