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An Early Appearance of the Provincia de Texas
Rare separately issued map of Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Southern California, Southern Arizona, Southern New Mexico and parts adjacent, published in Paris by Tardieu.
As noted on the mapThis Map is executed according to the astronomical observations of Baron de Humboldt, and Don Joaquin de Ferrer. For Upper Louisiana, we have profited of the maps and travels of Pike, and those of Lewis and Clark; for Lower Louisiana, of the map and description of this State by M. Darby; for the Territory of Arkansas and the Province of Texas, of the map of the United States by M. Melish. The Kingdom of New-Spain has been copied from the Map of Mexico and for Mexico, published in 1809 by Baron de Humboldt. . .
The map incorporates the work of the most important American sources, including Melish's fine large format map of the US published in 1816, Alexander von Humboldt's map of "new Spain," Darby's remarkable large format map of Louisiana, first published in 1816 and the maps included in Zebullon Pike's Report.
Interestingly, the note does not mention Aaron Arrowsmith's maps of Mexico or North America. Indeed, a second edition of this map, also dated 1820, includes an additional note referencing Arrowsmith's map of Mexico.
The final mapmaker mentioned is Joaquin de Ferrer, whose contribution (and possible contact with Tardieu), is perhaps the most fascainating. José Joaquín Ferrer y Cafranga (1763-1818) was a Spanish Basque cartographer and astronomer and was one of the last great figures of the Ilustración Borbonica, or the Spanish Enlightenment. Ferrer spent most of the 1790s in Cadiz, assisting the Armada Real in the production of the Portulano de la America Setentrional. However, Ferrer, who held distinctly liberal beliefs, became disaffected with the political situation in Spain, and set sail for America in 1799.
For the next 14 years, Ferrer was based in New York, and while earning a lucrative living as a merchant, found ample time to pursue his passions in astronomy and geography, traveling widely through America and the Caribbean. In 1809, several of his papers were published within the prestigious Transactions of the American Philosophical Society. In 1813, Ferrer travelled to London to study at the Greenwich Observatory, where he became acquainted with some of the Britain's leading intellectuals. The following year he studied at the Institute de France in Paris. Shortly thereafter, Ferrer returned to Spain, where he commenced work on the Portulano de los Estados Unidos.
While the Portulano was in production in Madrid, Ferrer dedicated himself full-time to the pursuit of academic projects. He became a fellow of the Real Academia de la Historia and the Real Sociedad Vascongada (Royal Basque Society). Ferrer retired to Bilbao in 1817 and died on May 18, 1818. Unfortunately, it is likely that he never saw a completed example of the Portulano de los Estados Unidos.
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.
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