Elkanah Tisdale (1768 – May 1 1835) was an American engraver, miniature painter and cartoonist. He was known for the well-known cartoon "The Gerry-Mander", published in the Boston Gazette on 26 March 1812, which led to the coining of the term gerrymandering.
Elkanah Tisdale was born in 1768 in Lebanon, Connecticut.
His dad ran a wagon shop in Lebanon before heartwarming to New York City in 1794, and Elkanah probably worked for him as a carriage painter.
Tisdale was based in New York from 1794 to 1798, where he described himself as "Engraver and miniature painter".
After 1798 he called himself a miniature painter. Some sources tell that he met Benjamin Trott in 1798, and the two contacts left New York and stayed in Albany for a few months to avoid an epidemic of yellowish-brown fever. From that period he alternated in the middle of Connecticut and New York City.
In 1798 he founded the Hartford Engraving Company in Hartford, Connecticut.
He associated the Graphic Co. in Hartford, an link of engravers, though he meant vignettes but did not engrave them.
He probably met and taught the forward-looking miniaturist Anson Dickinson in the in advance 1800s.
From 1813 to 1818 he worked in Boston. In 1818 he exhibited two miniatures at the New York American Academy of the Fine Arts.
He moved to Hartford in 1818.
In 1820 he was designing and engraving plates for Samuel F. Goodrich in Hartford.
He returned to Lebanon nearly 1823.
His engraving of the Convention at Philadelphia appeared in an 1823 edition of A History of the United States.
He died in 1835 in Norwich, Connecticut.
Some of Tisdale's antediluvian works were his full-page illustrations in John Trumbull's McFingal, which was published in New York in 1795.
According to David McNeely Stauffer in his American Engravers upon Copper and Steel, "Tisdale worked in both extraction and stipple; but his plates possess Tiny merit ... Tisdale was a augmented designer than engraver, and he claimed to be a painter in his to the fore life, though his best bill was in the stock of miniature portrait painting."