Nice example of Reichard's rare Pre-Lewis & Clark map of North America.
This rare unrecorded edition pre-dates the 1804 edition noted by Wheat (#263).
Includes excellent detail along the Northwest Coast of America, based upon the voyages of Cook, Vancouver, La Perouse, etc. A tremendous amount of information, probably from Hearn & MacKenzie, is included east of the Rocky Mountains in Canada. An interesting treatment of the Missouri River appears, with the known course of the River shown, then an unknown conjectural portion, which later connects to further known portions of the River near the Mandan Villages.
Perhaps the most unique feature of this map is the inclusion of the "State of Franklin," to the west of Virginia and the East of Kentucky. In fact, this short lived breakaway group was located between North Carolina and Tennessee, as noted below. Indiana is also shown where Ohio would normally appear.
In the latter part of the 18th Century, the settlers in Western North Carolina and Eastern Tennessee decided that because of poor representation in State Government, they needed to form a state of their own. A government was formed and initial organizational meetings conducted, but the breakaway state was quickly quelled by the North Carolina authorities, although not before the State of Franklinia began appearing on a number of English maps during the period. Ben Franklin himself responded that while he was honored by the decision to name a state after him, he was not able to relocate. In this instance, Franklinia is mislocated, placing it in what would become West Virginia.
The map includes a key showing the various colonial possessions of the English, United States, Spanish, French, Dutch, Danish and Swedish. One of the most interesting large format maps of North America published during this pre-Lewis & Clark era.
Christian Gottlieb Reichard (1758-1837) was a German cartographer. Reichard studied law in Leipzig and found work as a town clerk in Bad Lobenstein. He had great personal interest in geography, history, and cartography, hobbies which gained him more renown than law. However, even after he began making maps, he continued working his clerk job, which gave him the financial stability to support his family.
Reichard is best known for his work on his Atlas des Ganzen Erdkreises in der Central Projection (Atlas of the Whole World in the Central Projection) in 1803 and the Orbis terrarum antiquus (Atlas of the Ancient World) of 1824. He is also likely the first published cartographer to adopt the Albers conic projection, in his map Die Vereinigten Staaten von Nord-America, nach den sichersten Bestimmungen, neuesten Nachrichten und Charten, in der Alber’schen Projection entworfen, (The United States of North America, after the safest regulations, latest news and charts, designed in the Alberian projection), where he references the Albers projection by name.
Reichard’s work was known by his contemporaries as highly accurate, and in fact this descriptor still holds up today. This accuracy, along with his skill, made him very publishable, and he worked on a number of atlases with other cartographers, such as Steiler’s Handatlas. Reichard’s style is simple but includes great detail, making his maps both recognizable at a glance and engaging upon deeper study.