Henry Schenk Tanner

Henry Schenk Tanner

The Arrowsmiths were a cartographic dynasty which operated from the late-eighteenth century to the mid-nineteenth. The family business was founded by Aaron Arrowsmith (1750-1823), who was renowned for carefully prepared and meticulously updated maps, globes, and charts. He created many maps that covered multiple sheets and which were massive in total size. His spare yet exacting style was recognized around the world and mapmakers from other countries, especially the young country of the United States, sought his maps and charts as exemplars for their own work.

Aaron Arrowsmith was born in County Durham in 1750. He came to London for work around 1770, where he found employment as a surveyor for the city’s mapmakers. By 1790, he had set up his own shop which specialized in general charts. Arrowsmith had five premises in his career, most of which were located on or near Soho Square, a neighborhood the led him to rub shoulders with the likes of Joseph Banks, the naturalist, and Matthew Flinders, the hydrographer.

Through his business ties and employment at the Hydrographic Office, Arrowsmith made other important relationships with Alexander Dalrymple, the Hudson’s Bay Company, and others entities. In 1810 he became Hydrographer to the Prince of Wales and, in 1820, Hydrographer to the King.

Aaron Arrowsmith died in 1823, whereby the business and title of Hydrographer to the King passed to his sons, Aaron and Samuel, and, later, his nephew, John. Aaron Jr. (1802-1854) was a founder member of the Royal Geographical Society (RGS) and left the family business in 1832; instead, he enrolled at Oxford to study to become a minister. Samuel (1805-1839) joined Aaron as a partner in the business and they traded together until Aaron left for the ministry. Samuel died at age 34 in 1839; his brother presided over his funeral. The remaining stock and copper plates were bought at auction by John Arrowsmith, their cousin.

John (1790-1873) operated his own independent business after his uncle, Aaron Arrowsmith Sr., died. After 1839, John moved into the Soho premises of his uncle and cousins. John enjoyed considerable recognition in the geography and exploration community. Like Aaron Jr., John was a founder member of the RGS and would serve as its unofficial cartographer for 43 years. Several geographical features in Australia and Canada are named after him. He carried the title Hydrographer to Queen Victoria. He died in 1873 and the majority of his stock was eventually bought by Edward Stanford, who co-founded Stanford’s map shop, which is still open in Covent Garden, London today.


1823 - America

  • $14.99

First state of Henry Schenk Tanner's map of America from is American Atlas. The map shows Russian America (green) in great detail, with very little known or shown in California and the West. The Lewis River reflects details supplied by Lewis &...


1841 - Africa.

  • $14.99

The Greatest Early American Map of Africa. Rare American imprint copying Arrowsmith's important wall map, the latter of which was originally published in 1802. "One of the greatest maps ever published. Arrowsmith simply stripped away centuries of...


1825 - A Map of North America, Constructed According To The Latest Information: by H.S. Tanner. Improved to 1825 [Case Map]

  • $14.99

The First Map To Name Oregon Territory and The Finest Map of North America Published in America in the First Half of the 19th Century Tanner's landmark map of North America, first issued in 1822, is perhaps the most important North American map of the...


1839 - United States

  • $14.99

Tanner's scarce map of the United States, including massive unnamed region west of Lake Michigan and oddly shaped Michigan. Shows towns, roads, rivers, lakes, forts, etc.


1836 - Massachusetts and Rhode Island: By H.S. Tanner (Boston Inset Map)

  • $14.99

Nice example of Massachusetts and Rhode Island from Tanner's New Universal Atlas. This map is hand colored by county and contains great detail, including, waterways, travel routes, and rail lines. A statistical inset provides population by county....


1839 - New Hampshire & Vermont: By H.S. Tanner

  • $14.99

Nice example of Tanner's map of New Hampshire and Vermont, hand colored by counties, and showing towns, roads with distances, railroads, and a host of other details. The key shows counties and towns in each state, with populations, and populations on...


1819 - New York. By H.S. Tanner

  • $14.99

First state of the best atlas map of New York State published in the 19th Century. This vividly colored example is richly annotated throughout the map with various regional details on various rivers, roads and other local features. The early counties...


1836 - City of Washington

  • $14.99

Early map of Washington DC from Tanner's Universal Atlas. Colored by ward, shows streets, buildings, bridges, railroad lines, etc. Key to 76 main buildings and plan of the Capitol. Highly desirable early edition of this town plan.


1834 - New Jersey Reduced From T. Gordon's Map. By H.S. Tanner.

  • $14.99

A detailed and attractive map of New Jersey, hand-colored by county, showing roads, canals, towns, steamship routes and other interesting details. Includes railroads and proposed railroads and a number of tables of distances, stage routes, canal...


1836 - A New Map Of Maryland and Delaware with their Canals, Roads, Distances . . .

  • $14.99

Scarce Carey & Hart edition of Tanner's map of Maryland and Delaware, from Tanner's Universal Atlas. Detailed and interesting map, hand colored by county and showing towns, rivers, bays, lakes, railroads, roads, distances, etc. Tables of Steam...


1820 - Louisiana and Mississippi By H. S. Tanner.

  • $14.99

First Appearance of Cherokee Boundary and Choctaw Boundary Fine example of this early state Henry Schenk Tanner's spectacular map of Louisiana and Mississippi. Drawn from Darby's remarkable map of the region and other contemporary sources, the map...


1823 - Kentucky, Tennessee and part of Illinois. By H.S. Tanner

  • $14.99

The Best Kentucky, Tennessee & Southern Illinois Regional Atlas Map of the First Half of the 19th Century -- Early Edition with 9 Unnamed Counties in Western Tennessee Gorgeous example of this rare early edition of Tanner's Map of Kentucky,...


1836 - A New Map of Louisiana with its Canals, Roads & Distances. H.S. Tanner. (inset map of New Orleans)

  • $14.99

Gorgeous example of Tanner's map of Louisiana, with a large inset map of New Orleans. The map is hand colored by county and shows towns, rivers, canals, roads, railroads etc. A key lists steamship routes and distances. Tanner's maps are now quite...


1836 - A New Map of Mississippi with its Roads & Distances. By H.S. Tanner.

  • $14.99

Fine example of Tanner's map of Mississippi, from the first edition of Tanner's Universal Atlas. This example of the map was first issued in 1836. It is hand colored by counties, and shows towns, roads with distances, railroads, steamship routes, and...


1836 - A New Map of Arkansas with its Canals Roads & Distances

  • $14.99

Scarce early map of Arkansas from Tanner's Universal Atlas. Shows canals, proposed canals, railroads, proposed railroads, major roads, distances, towns, rivers, etc. A key at the top of the map shows the steamboat routes and distances. Well less than...


1841 - A New Map of Arkansas with its Canals Roads & Distances

  • $9.99

Scarce early map of Arkansas from Tanner's Universal Atlas. Shows canals, proposed canals, railroads, proposed railroads, major roads, distances, towns, rivers, etc. A key at the top of the map shows the steamboat routes and distances. Well less than...