Scarce map of the Southeast from Mentelle & Chanlaire's Atlas Universel… engraved by Tardieu and Valet.
The map has interesting details throughout the region, including counties, roads, towns, counties, rivers, lakes, bays, forts, islands, etc.
Interestingly, the boundary between Virginia and North Carolina trails off and there is no definitive western border for Virginia or North Carolina. On the eve of the creation of the short lived State of Franklin, and with the exception of a few settlements on the Wabash River, which would become Southern Indiana, there are no settlements in the west.
The engraving detail is very well executed, in the style of other Tardieu maps.
The map identifies a number of the early roads in the Carolinas and Virginia, as well as early western settlements. Of note is the inclusion of "Post Vincent" on the Wabash River, north of the Ohio River, one of the two French settlements noted by Thomas Hutchins (the other being Ouiatenon), in the 1760s, for which Hutchins noted 60 settlers and their families. It is believed that this location may date back to a trading post founded by Sieur Juchereau, Lieutenant General of Montreal, in 1702. François-Marie Bissot, Sieur de Vincennes, acting under the authority of the French colony of Louisiana, constructed a fort at this location in 1731-1732, which would become a major trading post in the region. British Lt. John Ramsey came to Vincennes in 1766. He took a census of the settlement, built up the fort, and renamed it Fort Sackville, in honor of Lord George Sackville, who had led British forces to victory over the French in the Battle of Minden. After the revolution, several dozen Kentucky families settled in Vincennes. Friction between these Americans, the French local government and the native peoples, moved Virginia Governor Patrick Henry to dispatch George Rogers Clark and send troops to the region. Clark arrived at Vincennes, in 1786. His attempts to negotiate with neighboring native peoples were unsuccessful. Instead, he created an incident by seizing the goods of Spanish traders, enraging the local population, and risking war with Spain. Under orders from the new United States government, Clark and his men left Vincennes in the spring of 1787. In the ensuing years, the first Fort Knox would be built in Vincennes.
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.