Le Canada, ou Nouvelle France, la Floride, la Virginie, Penssilvanie, Caroline, Nouvelle Angleterre et Nouvelle Yorck, l’Isle de Terre Neuve, la Louisiane et le Cours de la Riviere de Mississippi.
By: Nicholas de Fer
Date: 1702 (dated) Paris
Dimensions: 9 x 13.5 inches (23 x 34.3 cm)
This is striking little map of Colonial America presenting French ambitions in the new world. Much of the cartography is erroneous, but consistent with geographic knowledge of the time.
Engraved by Johannes Van Loon and published by Nicolas De Fer as part of his “Atlas Curieux,” this map of North America illustrates a dominating French presence over much of the land. A distinct border running from Nova Scotia, south of the Great Lakes to the Gulf Coast of present-day Texas indicates the extent of “Canada ou Nouvelle France.” Spanish possessions are minimized and the English colonies are squeezed to the eastern seaboard. This was likely done in an effort to appease King Louis XIV, which was not an uncommon practice. Other British made maps from the same era enlarge the British Colonies, sometimes distorting the land in an effort to please the various King Georges.
With regards to the geographic detail of the map, there is a lot to be improved upon. The Mississippi is shown emptying into the Gulf too far south and west one of its larger tributaries, the Ohio River is also delineated too far south. The Great Lakes are still gravely misshapen and would remain so until Jacques Nicolas Bellin’s map of 1745. Florida appears with a sharp diagonal coast in the south and to the north, a false lake lake found in earlier maps from the 17th century is still present at the base of the Appalachians.
Though small in size, this map presents a wealth of information, including the numerous locations of French forts throughout the land, areas suitable for portage between rivers, the locations on Native American tribes, and other general notes likely garnered from French fur trappers exploring this great new land.
Condition: This map is in A condition presenting light hand coloring over a dark impression on clean paper. Margins are full on all sides.
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