Henry S. Tanner. “A New Map of Louisiana with its Canals, Rail-Roads & Distances from Place to Place along the Stage Roads & Steam Boat Routes.” From Tanner’s Universal Atlas. Philadelphia: H. S. Tanner, 1843. Engraved by W. Brose. 10 3/4 x 13 3/8. Original hand color. Very good condition.
A superior, detailed map of Louisiana 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 Louisiana is typical of the maps, and it shows the state at an interesting stage of its history. An inset map of New Orleans at the top right shows why it is nicknamed the Crescent City and includes a key to city sites; a table of steamboat routes is shown at top left.