Henry S. Tanner. “A New Map of Missouri with its Roads & Distances.” From Universal Atlas. Philadelphia: Carey & Hart, 1844. 13 3/8 x 11 1/8. Engraving. Original hand color. Overall very good condition.
A superior, detailed map of Missouri 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 Missouri is typical of the maps, and it shows the state at an interesting stage of its history. At this time when many immigrants were moving into and through the state, the well detailed road/trail system is of particular interest.