John Melish. "United States of America. Compiled from the latest & best Authorities by John Melish." From C.V. Lavoisne's A Complete Genealogical, Historical, Chronological, and Geographical Atlas. Philadelphia: Mathew Carey & Son, 1820. 17 x 21. Engraving by Benjamin Tanner. Original hand coloring. Narrow bottom margin, as issued. Very good condition.
A map of the United States that was the off-spring of the combined talents of three of the most important figures in early American cartography: John Melish, Benjamin Tanner, and Mathew Carey. John Melish was the first American publisher to issue exclusively cartographic and geographic items. Melish came to dominate the industry in this country, and had a huge impact on all subsequent American mapping. It is Melish who brought American cartography up to world standards, and his maps clearly bespeak the quality of his work. This map by Melish depicts the United States from the Atlantic seaboard to the Rockies. The southwestern border of Michigan's upper peninsula is shown extending down to the Illinois border, and present-day Wisconsin and eastern Minnesota are designated as the last of the old North West Territory. The newest state, Missouri, is shown broken off from the original Louisiana Territory, and the remainder of that territory is shown as made up of the Missouri Territory and the Arkansas Territory.
Information on the Missouri River and Columbia River systems is much more copious than that found for the southwest because of the detailed maps from Lewis and Clark's expedition ten years earlier which Melish made use of.
The map was engraved by Benjamin Tanner, one of the first American map engravers. Tanner began his career in New York City, but later moved to Philadelphia where he did much work for Melish. M. Carey & Son, the publisher of this map, was a short lived version of the firm founded by Mathew Carey in the eighteenth century, which dominated American cartographic publishing prior to the advent of John Melish. Carey was the primary shaper of the early American cartographic scene, creating the network of engravers, sellers, cartographers, and colorist that made Philadelphia the leading American city for this industry. In 1817, Mathew Carey made his son, Henry Isaac, a junior partner, and this version of the firm lasted until 1822, at which time Mathew retired. This edition of the Melish map, issued by M. Carey & Son in Lavoisne's atlas, is scarce and most desirable.
|Dealer||The Philadelphia Print Shop|
|Measurements||17 x 21|
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