Cornelius Tiebout Engravings

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Part 1. Earliest engravings (1788-1789)

1.1 Plan of the High Court of Parliament, 1788

Possibly the earliest known engraving by Cornelius Tiebout appeared as a foldout with the June 1788 issue of The American Magazine. The Plan, after an illustration now in the British Museum, shows the layout in Westminster Hall in which the famous impeachment trial of Warren Hastings was held. Two images appear below: Tiebout's engraving and an artist's rendering of the Hall filled with people attending the trial. This picture is found in Hutchinson's Story of the Nations, London, 1933-34, p. 196. For details about Warren Hastings and the trial, see The Trial.

1.2 Title page of Amphion, 1789(?)

Another early Tiebout engraving was the title page of a tunebook named Amphion, which erroneously shows a publication date of 1780. Perhaps the 0 was intended to be 9, as a copy in the British Library shows a handwritten date of 1789. Amphion was published by John Burger, Jr. and his business partner, Tiebout. Burger was a son of silversmith John Burger, to whom Tiebout was apprenticed. An interesting introductory page of Amphion states that the Burger, Jr., and Tiebout were "not yet arrived at an age of maturity". Amphion was Tiebout's only venture involving a tunebook. A distinguished historian of early American music has examined Amphion in detail, especially in comparison with other tunebooks; see Irving Lowens, "Amphion: Another Piracy from Andrew Law?" in Richard S. Hill: Tributes from Friends, Detroit, 1987.

1.3 Map from the New York City Directory, 1789

Probably Tiebout's most widely seen early engraving is a map of New York City. The map was used in several New York City directories, beginning in 1789. For details, see Plan for the City of New York. According to The New-York Historical Society's Dictionary of Artists in America (1564-1880), Tiebout was born about 1773. However, the year of Tiebout's birth given by the Library of Congress (and many followers) is 1777. If that was the year of his birth, then Tiebout engraved this New York City map before his thirteenth birthday.
NYC Map Description 1789
Was the engraver of this Accurate and Elegant Plan really only twelve years old?
The Plan cited above (be sure to zoom in to see the details) is preserved in the Library of Congress, without explicit mention of its having been used in the 1789 New York City Directory. To confirm that it was, take a look at the Directory as preserved in the New York Public Library. Near the front of the book, you can see a handwritten note involving "the engraver's name and date: C. Tiebout Sculp — 1789". The next image is an incomplete PLAN OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK. Then, after two blank pages, the missing portion of the PLAN appears, showing the signature: C. Tiebout Sculp — 1789. For further details about the use of Tiebout's engraving in the 1789 Directory and subsequent NYC directories, see the NOTES section in New York City directory 1791 .

1.4 Title page of Survey of Roads, 1789

In 1789, Tiebout engraved the title page of Christopher Colles's Survey of the Roads of the United States of America. Possibly he also engraved some of the unsigned maps and taught Colles's daughter, Eliza, how to engrave. With the publication of some of her signed maps, she may have become the earliest professional American female engraver. See Walter W. Ristow, "Eliza Colles, America's First Female Map Engraver," The Map Collector 10 (1980) pp. 14-17.

1.5 Cover of a Chorus Sung before George Washington, 1789

Yet another 1789 Tiebout engraving is the cover of a Chorus Sung before Gen. Washington as he passed under the Triumphal Arch raised on the Bridge of Trenton, April 21st, 1789. The Chorus, dedicated to Mrs. Washington, was composed by English-born Alexander Reinagle (1756-1809).

1.6 Map of Southern States, etc., 1789

In 1789, William Gordon published a three-volume work, The History of the Rise, Progress, and Establishment of the Independence of the United States of America. The beginning of volume 3 includes a fold-out map engraved by Tiebout, with title enclosed by an ornate carouche. The title is "New Map of the States of Georgia South and North Carolina Virginia and Maryland Including the Spanish Provinces of West and East Florida". Below, you can visit both the map and a close-up of the carouche.

1.7 Map of Northern States, etc., 1789

Continuing from 1.6, the full title is "A New Map of the States of Pensylvania New Jersey New York Connecticut Rhode Island Massachusetts and New Hampshire Including Nova Scotia and Canada". The spelling of Pensylvania with only two n's was not uncommon in 1789; e.g., this spelling is found on the Library Bell in Philadelphia and in the original U. S. Constitution. Below, see this map in black and white and also with added color.

1.8 Trinity Church, Wall Street, 1789-90

Tiebout's engraving of this church appeared in the first issue of The New York Magazine; or, Literary Repository, dated the first day of 1790. It seems likely that Tiebout completed the engraving during 1789. The image is shown and discussed in Part 6.

Plan of the High Court of Parliament, June 1788, The American Magazine Trial of Warren Hastings Amphion introduction engraved text Amphion title page Plan of the City of New York, 1789 Roads of the USA Title Page, 1789, Colles Chorus George Washington title page, 1789 New Map of the States etc. (South), 1789 Carouche on New Map of the States etc., 1789 A New Map of the States etc. (North), 1789 A New Map of the States etc. (North), color added, 1789