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1796 John Reid Map of North Carolina

The State of North Carolina from the best Authorities. - Main View

1796 John Reid Map of North Carolina


Rare map of North Carolina from the 2nd earliest American Atlas published.


The State of North Carolina from the best Authorities.
  1796 (undated)     11.5 x 19 in (29.21 x 48.26 cm)     1 : 1300000


A fine example of John Reid’s scarce and important 1796 map of North Carolina. The map covers roughly the territory of modern day North Carolina, running along the Atlantic coast from Currituck to Little River and inland as far as Buncombe County. Beautifully detailed, notes towns, rivers, roads, mountains swamps, coastal features, etc.

Cartographically this map is derived from Samuel Lewis / John Carey map of 1795. Like the first state of the Lewis/Carey map, this particular map notes various counties, but does not delineate them. The map does however outlines the Moravian community boundaries (Wachovia Tract) which corresponds to the area around the present day county of Forsyth.

This map was engraved by Benjamin Tanner. It was issued to accompany Reid's important An American Atlas.


George A. Reid (fl. c. 1900 - 1940) was a Scottish printer and bookseller active in Edinburgh during the first half of the 20th century. Reid published an Edinburgh directory as well as a number of Masonic titles, suggesting an affiliation with the Scottish Rite. Reid maintained his offices at 53 Elder St., Edinburgh. More by this mapmaker...

Benjamin Tanner (March 27, 1775 - c. 1846) was an American engraver active in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Benjamin was the brother of the more prominent younger brother, the Philadelphia engraver Henry S. Tanner. Benjamin, who was based in New York City for most of his early career. Although is master is unknown, he most likely trained under the New York mapmaker Peter R. Maverick. His earliest work dates to 1792 and his is known to have engraved many of the maps for Reid's 1775 An American Atlas. Around 1811 he relocated to Philadelphia and established a business with his brother as a general engraver and map publisher. He also worked as a bank note publisher under the imprint of Tanner, Vallance, Kearny & Co. perfecting the stereographic technique until roughly 1846. Learn More...


Reid, J., An American Atlas (John Reid: New York) 1796.     An American Atlas, published by John Reid in 1796 is the second commercial atlas published in the United States. It is considered among the rarest and most interesting of all American atlases. Reid's atlas was originally issued as an accompaniment to Winterbotham's Historical, Geographical, Commercial and Philosophical View of the United States, but easily stands on its own as a production of outstanding merit. The original atlas contained 20 or 21 maps, including detailed engraved maps of North and South America, and the United States; and individual maps of New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and the West Indies. The continent maps, the general map of the United States, and those of Kentucky and Washington are after maps appearing in London editions of Winterbotham; the remaining maps are unique to this work. Of the new maps, most are drawn loosely from those maps appearing in John Carey's 1795 American Atlas or, in the case of the Kentucky map, from the J. Russell's work for the 1795 London edition of Winterbotham. Most of the maps in Reid's American Atlas were engraved by Benjamin Tanner, brother to Henry S. Tanner, the most prominent map engraver in the United States. Others were engraved by David Martin, D. Anderson, John Scoles, and John Roberts. Some examples of the The American Atlas also featured the scarce Andrew Ellicott map of Washington D.C. It is noteworthy that most examples of the atlas are printed on inconsistent stock and suffer from severe condition issues due to the fact that the individual maps were printed in various different locations then shipped to Reid for binding. Reid's An American Atlas exists in only one edition and is unlikely to have been successful given the scarcity of all examples today.


Very good. Some wear with verso repair over centerfold split. Stain near top centerfold. Minor foxing at places. Original platemark visible. Verso reinforcement along edges.


Rumsey 0845.016.