Henry S. Tanner. “A New Map of North Carolina with its Roads & Distances.” From Universal Atlas. Philadelphia: Carey & Hart, 1843. 11 x 13 1/4. Engraving. Original hand color. With insets of the “Gold Region” and the area around New Bern. Two small smudges in bottom margin. Else, excellent condition.
A beautifully crafted map of North Carolina 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. In 1843, Carey & Hart issued a new edition of the atlas, including this fine map of North Carolina. The Tanner 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 rail lines, canals and roads. Also of interest is the depiction of the Gold Region in south-central part of the state.