Nice example of the French edition of the scarce Lewis Evans' map of the Middle British Colonies, one of the most important maps of the British Colonies published in the 18th Century.
Evans' map provides a dramatic update in the region covered, based upon his first hand explorations and compilations undertaken prior to the French & Indian War.
Along with Mitchell's map of North America issued in the same year, the Evans is considered the most important American map of the 18th Century. Both maps were intended to spur western expansion into the Trans-Allegheny, Ohio Valley and regions westward and were issued in response to French encroachments into the region, prior to the French & Indian War. Evans worked with a number of the great frontiersman and guides of the period in compiling the map. Evans' map became the standard for nearly 50 years, being re-issued in a number of pirated editions, by Jefferys, Sayer Kitchen, Bowles and others.
The map is a milestone both for its political significance and extension of cartographic knowledge in the region. The present example appeared in the French edition of Crevecouer's Letters From An American Farmer.
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.