Early Tennessee Map – 1818

Map_of_Tennessee_1818 enhanced

John Melish’s 1818 State of Tennessee map.  This map is held in the Tennessee State Library and Archives Historical Map collection.  Reprints and reproductions can be obtained through the Library and Archives HERE.

This is a beautiful map of the State of Tennessee.  It was created in 1818 by John Melish (1771-1822) using the surveys of John Strothers.  The map displays early county lines and the then existing Indian boundaries.

John Melish was a Scottish mapmaker and publisher. In 1811, Melish settled in Philadelphia, working on atlases and maps.  He is very well known as a creator/publisher some of the best maps in early America.

Melish produced a map of the United States in 1816, which he sent to former President Thomas  Jefferson.  Jefferson was so impressed with Melish’s work that he offered a few suggestions for correction, primarily regarding the boundaries of Louisiana and west.  Jefferson’s letter offering suggestions to John Melish is held within the Jefferson papers within the Library of Congress (it is digitally available by clicking here) .  According to the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Jefferson placed a copy of the Melish produced United States map was placed in the Entrance Hall at Monticello, Jefferson’s home.

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