1815. Territoire de Columbia

  • Territoire de Columbia

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Territoire de Columbia

Rare Map of the District of Columbia, "Drawn by Andw. Ellicott" and "Engraved by P.A.F. Tardieu" in Paris.

Scarce French edition of Tardieu's detailed map of the Territory of Columbia, showing the extent of the entire Territory, along with an early depiction of the City of Washington and Alexandria.

The map includes a fine treatment of the topography of the region, along with early roads, rivers and Ellicott's plan of Washington DC.

The map is apparently derived from Andrew Ellicott's Territory of Columbia, published by Thackara & Vallance in 1794. Referred to as The 10 Mile Square, the area was surveyed by Ellicott, who subsequently drew 2 manuscript plans at the request of Thomas Jefferson in 1793. The Territory consisted of 64 square miles ceded by Maryland in 1788 and 36 square miles ceded by Virginia in 1789. While several other topographical manuscript maps were drawn shortly thereafter, the entirety of the Territory of Columbia was largely ignored in printed maps following the Thackera & Vallance map of 1794, making this work by Tardieu one of the earliest depictions of the entire Territory of Columbia and one of the very few maps to refer to the region as a Territory (as opposed to a District).

The map appeared in the French edition of D. B. Warden's A Statistical, Political and Historical Account of the United States.

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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Pierre Antoine Tardieu.

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