Henry S. Tanner. “A New Map of Louisiana with its Canals, Roads & Distances from place to place, along the Stage & Steam Boat Routes.” From Universal Atlas. Philadelphia: Carey & Hart, -1843. 10 3/4 x 13 1/4. Engraving by W. Brose. Original hand color. Very good condition.
A strong and beautifully crafted map of Louisiana from the nineteenth century 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. This map is a fine example of that atlas. It is filled with myriad topographical details, including rivers, bayous, marshes, towns, lakes and parish borders. Tanner’s maps are especially known for their depiction of the transportation routes of the states, and this map is no exception. The transportation infrastructure was extremely important at this period of increased immigration and travel in the American south. This information is clearly depicted, including railroads, canals and roads. Along the left side are tables showing distances along steamboat routes on the Mississippi. Also included is an inset map showing New Orleans, with a key to sites in the city.