Rare Map of Western Georgia, Alabama (still part of Mississippi Territory) and part of Tennessee, which appeared in John Melish's rare Military & Topographical Atlas.
The map illustrates the routes of General Andrew Jackson's Army through the Creek Indian lands, during the War of 1812, a region which won him his reputation as a hard nosed Indian Fighter and vaulted him into the National spotlight as an American military hero.
The map is centered on Alabama River and Tennessee River, showiing the lands controlled by the Creek Indians. The Road from New Orleans is shown extending to Coweta, Georgia, where it crosses the the Chatahouchy River and splits into separate roads to Athens, Georgia and Millidgeville, Georgia. The Georgia road to Ross' on the Tennessee River is also shown.
In the centr of the map, the "Rout of General Jackson's Army, from Tuskegee to Huntsville (Mississippi Territory) is shown," as is the "Rout of General Cock's Army is shown" (Route being misspelled in both instances), along with the route connecting two marches along the Alabama River.
Fort Deposit and Fort Hampton is shown on the Tennessee River, as is Fort Amstrong on the Alabama River. Dozens of Creek Indian Villages are also located.
John Melish (1771-1822) was the most prominent American mapmaker of his generation, even though his cartographic career lasted only a decade. Melish was born in Scotland; he moved to the West Indies in 1798 and then to the United States in 1806. By 1811, he had settled in Philadelphia and published Travels through the United States of America, in the years 1806 & 1807, and 1809, 1810, & 1811, which was richly illustrated with maps.
Melish created several regional maps of the highest quality, as well as the Military & Topographical Atlas of the United States (Philadelphia, 1813, expanded 1815). The latter work is widely considered to be the finest cartographic publication to come out of the War of 1812.
By far his best-known work is his monumental map of the United States of 1816, Map of the United States with the contiguous British and Spanish Possessions. He began working on the map in 1815 and sent it to Thomas Jefferson for comment in 1816. Jefferson enthusiastically reviewed the map and returned it with his edits. Jefferson later hung an example of the map in the Entrance Hall of Monticello and sent it to associates in Europe.
Melish’s finished product was the first map of the United States to extend to the Pacific Ocean. After its publication in 1816, Melish ensured the map was as up-to-date as possible; it was reissued in 25 known states published between 1816 and 1823. The map captured the then rapidly changing geography of the United States, as well as various boundary disputes, treaties, and expansion.