Fascinating map of the US, from the first French edition of the Letters From An American Farmer, by Crevecouer. The map extends up the Mississippi River to the Lake of the Wood, showing some unusual and inaccurate detail in the Upper Mississippi. Among the most interesting parts of the map is the delineation of Jefferson's land districts, although most are unnamed. Perhaps the most interesting feature of the map is its identification of the pays de Frankland (State of Franklin) in western North Carolina, making this perhaps the only map to bring together the Jefferson territories and this short-lived breakaway state, which pre-dates the formation of Tennessee. Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois also named, but not Ohio!
Pierre Antoine Tardieu (1784-1869), also known to sign his works as PF Tardieu, was a prolific French map engraver and geographer. The Tardieu family, based in Paris, was well known for their talent in engraving, cartography, and illustration. Pierre Antoine’s father, Antoine Francois Tardieu, was an established cartographer who published numerous atlases. His son is said to have collaborated with him for many years before establishing his own independent career.
Pierre Antoine Tardieu’s most famous work includes engravings of the islands of La Palma and Tenerife, for which in 1818 he was awarded a bronze medal by King Louis-Phillipe for the beauty and accuracy of his mapping. Other famous work includes his mapping of Louisiana and Mexico, engravings of Irish counties, maps of Russia and Asia, and his highly celebrated illustrations of all the provinces of France. He was also the first mapmaker to engrave on steel.
Tardieu was a popular map engraver in his lifetime, enjoying the patronage of the likes of Alexander von Humboldt and respect among his peers. In 1837, he was appointed the title Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur. As was written in his obituary in the Bulletin of the Geographical Society of France, he was renowned for his combination of technical talent and scholarly research skills and praised for furthering his family’s well-respected name in the scientific arts.