This item has been sold, but you can enter your email address to be notified if another example becomes available, or purchase a digital scan.

1825 Tanner Map of South America

South America.

1825 Tanner Map of South America


An important year in South America - Brazil recognized as an independent nation by Portugal, the Cisplatine War began which would lead to the creation of Uruguay, and Simón Bolívar elected the first president of Colombia.



South America.
  1825 (undated)    36 x 21 in (91.44 x 53.34 cm)     1 : 10235000


This is an 1825 Henry Schenck Tanner map of South America. The map depicts the continent of South America from Panama to Tierra del Fuego and from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean. The Florida Keys and the West Indies from Cuba and the Bahamas to Trinidad and Tobago are included as well. Numerous different political entities or regions are illustrated on the map, a fair number of which are named after cities, such as Buenos Aires, La Paz, Low Peru or Lima, and Quito. Patagonia is labeled, along with Tierra del Fuego, and Brazil. Lake Maracaibo, a large tidal bay or estuary in Venezuela is also depicted. Myriad rivers and tributaries are labeled, including the Amazon, along with numerous cities and towns. An inset map of the comparative altitudes of mountain towns in South America is located in the lower right corner.

Tanner describes the sources of this map thus:
For the basis of this map I adopted that of John Cary, of London; from which the entire western coast and part of the interior country were taken. Brazil, and a considerable portion of the United Provinces of Buenos Ayres or La Plata, are from the six-sheet map of Arrowsmith, with corrections from La Cruz's excellent map of the Whole Continent. The Provinces of Upper Peru are from Pazo's map, which served me also for the provincial boundaries. The Reports of the United States' commissioners, Messrs. Poinsett, Bland, and Rodney, together with Brackenridge's work on South America, were consulted form the local boundaries of Buenos Ayres, Chili, and c. For the limits and subdivisions of Colombia, recourse was had to the Constitution and acts of the government of that republic.
The year 1825 was important in South American history. Portugal officially recognized the Empire of Brazil as an independent nation, not as one of its colonies. Also in 1825, the Cisplatine War erupted. This war, fought between the Orientals and the Brazilians. The Orientals came from a region called Banda Oriental, which had been invaded by the Brazilians and Portuguese in 1820 and annexed by Brazil. The Banda Oriental allowed for access to the Rio de la Plata and Montevideo, both very enticing gains for Portugal and Brazil. In 1825 the Thirty-Three Orientals (Treinta y Tres Orientales) began a revolution that culminated in the foundation of Uruguay. Also in 1825, the first presidential election in Colombia was held, and Simón Bolívar was elected president, receiving 582 of the 608 votes.

Tanner first published this map in 1823. The present example is the scarce 2nd edition from 1825. This map was published in the 1825 edition of Tanner's iconic New American Atlas. This map, like all maps from the New American Atlas, is today rarely seen on the market.


Henry Schenck Tanner (1786 - May 18, 1858) was one of the preeminent American map engravers and publishers of the early 19th century - what is considered to be the "Golden Age of American Map Publishing". Born in New York City but based in Philadelphia, Tanner's forty plus year career was almost entirely focused on cartographic work. His earliest map work appears in conjunction with another important map publisher, John Melish. Early in his career, Tanner partnered with his brother Benjamin, to engrave extensively for Melish as well as other Philadelphia publishers including Lucas Fielding (Baltimore), A. Bourne, Jason Torey, Samuel Harrison, and Samuel Lewis, among others. In 1818 Tanner convinced his fellow publishers and partners to finance the compilation of a New American Atlas. The atlas was sold by subscription and slowly emerged between 1819 and 1823. The New American Atlas, possibly the pinnacle of 19th century American cartography and was commended in its day as "one of the most splendid works of the kind ever executed in this country". It was subsequently republished in several updated editions until about 1839. Tanner had by this time become the most active and influential map publisher in the United States. Around 1832, recognizing the market for a less cost prohibitive atlas, Tanner began work on the smaller format New Universal Atlas. This popular and important atlas went through numerous editions before being bought out by Carey and Hart, and then, in 1846, by S. A. Mitchell, who would rise to become the preeminent publisher of the next generation. In addition to these important atlases, Tanner also issued numerous extremely important and influential travelers guides, state maps, wall maps, and pocket maps. He should not be confused with his brother, also an America map engraver, the New Yorker Benjamin Tanner.


Tanner, H. S., A New American Atlas, (Philadelphia: Tanner) 1825.     Tanner's New American Atlas is regarding as the largest and most beautiful early American atlas, truly a landmark achievement from the Golden Age of American Cartography. The atlas was initially published in five parts between 1819 and 1823, after which collected editions were issued in 1823, 1825, 1833, and 1839. It terms of size, format, printing quality, paper quality, cartographic accuracy, and elegance of engraving, the New American Atlas was unparalleled. As noted by map historian Walter Ristow, 'Tanner's atlas raised U.S. commercial map production to a new level of excellence.' His contemporaries were also duly impressed. The American educator and historian Jared Sparks, as quoted by Ristow, describes the atlas as thus:
on the whole as an American Atlas, we believe Mr. Tanner’s work to hold a rank far above any other, which has been published. The authentic documents, to which he had access, the abundance of his materials, the apparent fidelity, with which they are compiled, the accurate construction of his maps, and the elegance with which they are executed, all these afford ample proofs of the high character of the work, of its usefulness as a means of extending the geographic knowledge of our own country, and of its claims to public patronage. (Ristow, p. 197)


Very good. Even overall toning. Verso repair of centerfold separation. Light soiling. Blank on verso.
Looking for a high-resolution scan of this?