The map of New England from Henry S. Tanner’s monumental New American Atlas. The atlas was first issued in parts between 1819 and 1823, while the present map is from the 1825 revised edition. Tanner’s life and work-and the American Atlas in particular-merit an entire chapter in Ristow’s American Maps and Mapmakers (chap. 13). Among […]
Henry Schenck Tanner (1786-1858) was a central figure in the flourishing of the American map-publishing trade in the early nineteenth century. Working closely with John Melish, and then alone, he set about proving that Americans could create maps every bit as good – or better – than their British and European rivals. His abilities were recognized by his election to the Geographical Societies of London and Paris.
The younger brother of the map-engraver Benjamin Tanner, he was a skilled and prolific engraver in his own right, supplying maps for many contemporary travel accounts and atlases. He took over and published the New American Atlas in 1823, the atlas the equal of any of the period, notably the four-sheet map of North America.
In the 1820s and early 1830s his was the leading American map-publishing house, with a substantial output, associated with engraving or publishing many of the best maps of the day, landmarks (from a long list) including his Map of the United States of Mexico (1825), a the superb wall-map of the United States of America (1830) and Stephen Fuller Austin’s seminal Map of Texas (1830).