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A Map of South Carolina

Wilson, John __Cartographer ||Tanner, Henry S. __Engraver
Place Made:
South Carolina United States of America
Date Made:
ink on paper
HOA: 46″; WOA: 59″
Accession Number:
This was the first large scale map of South Carolina made after independence and includes an insert of Charleston Harbor. The official mapping of the United States began with the formation of the General Land Office in the late 18th century, and its formal organization in 1812. The first “official” maps of individual states were produced by dedicated individuals. Later state governments, recognizing the need for accurate maps, authorized the collection of local surveys and compilation into “official” maps of the states.

John Wilson was South Carolina’s State Civil and Military Engineer, and the creation of an accurate state map reflecting all the new internal improvements, was one of his responsibilities. The idea for this map was first proposed to the South Carolina Legislature in December of 1815 by Professor George Blackburn. Nineteen surveyors worked over a period of five years to create this map. Henry S. Tanner of Philadelphia, one of the finest cartographic engravers in America was hired to engrave and print the map. Tanner referred to this map as “one of our best and most scientific maps….”.

Constructed from local manuscript survey and compiled for use by state officials, it remained the foundation map for South Carolina until the Civil War.

Credit Line:
Gift of James W Lester Jr & Judy R. Lester