"North America", Tallis, John
Subject: North America
Period: 1850 (circa)
Publication: Illustrated Atlas and Modern History of the World
Color: Hand Color
9.6 x 14.1 inches
24.4 x 35.8 cm
The maps from The Illustrated Atlas were first published in serial form to a target audience that led insular lives due to the expense and hardship of travel. All that changed as the progress of the nineteenth century brought swift and dramatic changes in public awareness of far away places. Tallis' maps no doubt played an important role in this dramatic awakening. These maps not only provided up-to-date geographical knowledge, but also used vignette views within the map's design to show the native people and their occupations, cities and points of interest. The maps hark back to a cartographic tradition from the Dutch mapmakers of the seventeenth century with finely engraved decorative borders. The maps were drawn and engraved by John Rapkin with views drawn and engraved by a number of prominent artists. The maps were issued as a complete volume from 1851 until about 1865. Some of the maps were also published in other history books published by Tallis including British Colonies and, without the vignettes, in geographical dictionaries and encyclopedias until about 1880.
This map, drawn and engraved by John Rapkin, is filled with forts and locates many Indian tribes. Texas is shown in a curious configuration without a panhandle, Western Territory takes up much of present-day Kansas and Oklahoma, and New Mexico is shown as a tiny strip of land above Texas. The vignettes surrounding the map were drawn by J. Marchant and engraved by J. Rogers. These scenes include: Ancient Monument, Mexico, Convoy of Diamonds, Falls of Niagara, Beavers, Wapiti Deer, and North American Indians. Across the top are Russian Cossacks (representing the Russian Possessions in Alaska), an Eskimo dog sled, and Mount Hekla, Iceland.
Contemporary outline color on a lightly toned sheet with a tiny stain in Baffin Bay, some small chips and tears along the sheet's edges, and some light dampstaining in the right and bottom blank margins.