Carte de la Caroline Meridionale et Septentrionale et de la Virginie.
1795 (dated) 13.5 x 17.5 in (34.29 x 44.45 cm)
1 : 2900000
A scarce 1795 map of Virginia and Carolina by Pierre François Tardieu notable for its identification of early trade routes and settlements west of Appalachia. The map is rare and exquisitely engraved detailing the middle-southeast Atlantic seaboard covering from the Delaware Bay to the Savannah River and inland as far as modern-day Iowa. It is notably printed on high quality light blue handkerchief paper that briefly appeared during the French Revolution.
The better knowns and well settled lands east of the Appalachian Mountains are mapped in considerable detail with Tardieu's typical meticulousness, noting settlements, cities, topography, and even some undersea detail. Particular attention focuses on trade routes. The borders of Virginia, and North Carolina fade away at the Appalachian Mountains, suggesting the state of political and physical uncertainty in the region.
There is little activity west of the Appalachian Mountains, but what is represented here is significant including early trade routes, and clusters of traders in the Ohio River Valley, in the Upper Wabash Valley, and in western Carolina. There are a few places of note, particularly in the vicinity of the Ohio and Wabash Valleys.
Early Settlements in the Ohio Valley
In the Ohio Valley, the individualistic place names denote the rough and ready nature of the settlements there. For example, 'Huricane Toms,' a stopping post on the trade route extending north from the Ohio River, is likely the home of a French trader or enterprising American Indian potentate. Also identified is the old French communities of Vieux Lower and Vyand Uxales. Further east, the trading post of Neal Mc Collins is identified.
Settlements in the Upper Wabash Valley
Another cluster of communities appears in the upper Wabash River, most notably Post Vincent. This was an old French trading post originally founded by Sieur Juchereau, Lieutenant General of Montreal, in 1702. Thirty years later, in 1731-32, François-Marie Bissot, Sieur de Vincennes, acting under the authority of the French governor in New Orleans, constructed a fort at this location renaming it in his own image as Vincennes. After the French and Indian War, settlers from Kentucky moved in, often clashing with the established French community and local Indian tribes. Eventually the region would be fully assimilated into the United States and the first Fort Knox would be built just north Vincennes, or, as here, Post Vincent. Further north on the Wabash the American Indian community of Musquitons, allies of the French in Vincennes, is noted.
The Cherokee Path
Further South, in the western part of South Carolina and northern Georgia, along the Cherokee Path, the primary trade route between Charleston and the Cherokee and Creeks lands to the west. Among the sites noted are Fort du Prince George, funded in 1753, and various Chickamauga Cherokee communities around Tugaloo.
French Revolution Blue Handkerchief PaperIt is of note that this map was printed on rare French Revolution Era blue-tinged paper. Typically papermakers would travel through town with large carts yelling 'bring out your rags!' These scrap rags would then be ground up, pulped, and used to make paper. During the French Revolution, the overthrow of the nobility resulted in an uncannily high percentage of fine white handkerchiefs and table linens being gathered up and turned into paper. The iodine in the linens reacted with the starch glues used to make the paper to cause the slight blue tinge. Today maps produced from French Revolution blue paper are highly desirable.
This map was engraved and by Pierre François Tardieu and engraved by Pasquier Jean Valet. It was published and issued for Mentelle and Chanlaire's Atlas Universel.
Pierre François Tardieu (1711 - 1771) was a French engraver and mapmaker active in Paris during the middle part of the 18th century. Pierre Francois Tardieu was born around 1711 in Paris, son of Jean Tardieu. His uncle, Nicolas-Henri Tardieu, taught him the art of engraving. Pierre was a general engraver whose work was not limited to maps but also included historical and genre works. Many of his maps are extremely significant and include some of the finest French productions of the period. Tardieu had his office at Rue de al Corderie, Paris. Tardieu was married to Marie-Anne Rousselet (1733-1826), whose family included the engraver Gilles Rousselet and the sculptor Jean Rousselet. It is highly likely that Pierre Francois Tardieu was succeeded by Pierre Antoine Francois Tardieu, who is also possibly his son, as the latter continued to engrave under the P. F. Tardieu imprint well after the former's death. There are several other 19th century cartographers also named Tardieu, it is unclear if they are related although such would not be unlikely.
Edme Mentelle (October 11, 1730 - April 28, 1816) was a French geographer and historian active in Paris during the late 18th century. Mentelle was born in Paris in 1730. He studied under the historian Jean-Baptiste Louis Crevier at the College of Beauvais before accepting a position as professor of Geology and History at the Ecole Militaire where, incidentally, he tutoring the young Napoleon Bonaparte. He remained in this position until the institution was abolished in 1792. Mentelle later worked as a private tutor and then as a professor of Geography at the Ecole Normale. From 1795 he was a member of the Institut National des Sciences et des Arts, which he helped to found. Mentelle published a number of importantly geographical works including the 1778 Geographie Comparee, the 1779 Atlas Universel, and the 1801 Cours Complet de Cosmographie, de Chronologie, de Geographie et d'Histoire. He is known to have worked with Conrad Malte-Brun, Ambrose Tardieu, Peter Simon Pallas, and other important cartographic figures of his period. Edme Mentelle is frequently erroneously confused with Francois Simon Mentelle, another French Geographer who worked with Cassini on his historic survey of France.
Mentelle, E., Atlas Universel, (Paris) 1795.
Very good. Wide clean margins. Blue tinged paper.
Cumming, W., The Southeast in Early Maps, #447. OCLC 633375788.