One of the earliest maps to show the State of Franklin and to name Kentucky. On December 14, 1784, the representatives of the Cumberland region met at a Presbyterian Church in Jonesboro to conduct the First Constitutional Convention for the formation of a new state. One of the first orders of business was to name the new State Franklin and to correspond with Benjamin Franklin inviting him to take residence in the new state, which was then a part of western North Carolina. While Franklinia failed to gain its independence, it lives on as one of the great collector's items in Americana maps. This map, included in the French edition of Crevecoeur's Letters from an American Farmer is one of its earliest appearances on a map.
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.