Fine example of the earliest obtainable map of Martha's Vineyard.
While the title is in French, most of the details of the map are in English, except for the map key.
The map focuses on Martha's Vineyard, the Elizabeth Islands, Chapoquidick Island, Vineyard Strait and part of the coast of Cape Cod. The Vineyard is depicted in considerable detail, including topographical features, roads, the island's towns and villages, and meeting houses. There are numerous interesting notations, as well as a legend identifying 10 numbered locations.
The map was issued in the Paris edition of St. John de Crevecoeur's Letters from an American Farmer, . This work is a fascinating outsider's view of the people, culture and natural attractions of the new United States, as seen through the eyes of a French émigré. Howes calls it a "description of American life of great influence in attracting European immigration in the post-revolutionary period. As literature unexcelled by any American work of the eighteenth century."
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.