1695 Pierre Mortier Large Antique Hudsons Bay Company Map of Canada

Cartographer : Pierre Mortier

  • Title : Carte Particuliere de L Amerique Septentrionale ou sont Compris Le Destroit de Davids Le Destroits De Hudson &c. Dresse sur les Relations les plus Nouvelles A Amsterdam Chez Pierre Mortier Libaire...
  • Size: 37in x 24in (940mm x 610mm)
  • Condition: (A+) Fine Condition
  • Date : 1695
  • Ref #:  70049

This large original hand coloured copper-plate engraved antique map of NE Canada, from Hudsons Bay to Baffin Bay, the Canadian Polar Regions to Greenland &Iceland by Pierre Mortier was published in the 1695 edition of his Atlas Suite de Neptune Francois.

Incredibly scarce and significant map in the history between France and Britain. In 1695, when this map was published, the first real Global war, the Nine Years War or the War of the Grand Alliance, was raging in both the Old World and New World, between the European Superpowers. This map shows most of the land owned by the Hudsons Bay Company (HBC) at the end of the 17th century, including the towns and forts of the HBC and French along with many of the discoveries in northern Canada up until that time.
Among the more remarkable elements of the map is the depiction of Destroit d Anian, in the SW corner, showing the Straits of Anian extending from Buttons Bay west towards the Pacific Ocean, offering the possibility of a passage to the Pacific Ocean.

General Definitions:
Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stable
Paper color : - off white
Age of map color: - Original
Colors used: - Yellow, green, blue, pink
General color appearance: - Authentic
Paper size: - 37in x 24in (940mm x 610mm)
Plate size: - 33in x 23in (840mm x 585mm)
Margins: - Min 1in (25mm)

Margins: - None
Plate area: - None
Verso: - None

Hudsons Bay Company (HBC) In the 17th century the French had a de facto monopoly on the Canadian fur trade with their colony of New France. Two French traders, Pierre-Esprit Radisson and Médard des Groseilliers (Médard de Chouart, Sieur des Groseilliers), Radissons brother-in-law, learned from the Cree that the best fur country lay north and west of Lake Superior, and that there was a frozen sea still further north. Assuming this was Hudson Bay, they sought French backing for a plan to set up a trading post on the Bay, to reduce the cost of moving furs overland. According to Peter C. Newman, concerned that exploration of the Hudson Bay route might shift the focus of the fur trade away from the St. Lawrence River, the French governor, Marquis d Argenson (in office 1658–61), refused to grant the coureurs de bois permission to scout the distant territory. Despite this refusal, in 1659 Radisson and Groseilliers set out for the upper Great Lakes basin. A year later they returned with premium furs, evidence of the potential of the Hudson Bay region. Subsequently, they were arrested for trading without a licence and fined, and their furs were confiscated by the government.
Determined to establish trade in the Hudson Bay, Radisson and Groseilliers approached a group of English colonial businessmen in Boston, Massachusetts to help finance their explorations. The Bostonians agreed on the plans merits but their speculative voyage in 1663 failed when their ship ran into pack ice in Hudson Strait. Boston-based English commissioner Colonel George Cartwright learned of the expedition and brought the two to England to raise financing. Radisson and Groseilliers arrived in London in 1665 at the height of the Great Plague. Eventually, the two met and gained the sponsorship of Prince Rupert. Prince Rupert also introduced the two to his cousin, King Charles II. In 1668 the English expedition acquired two ships, the Nonsuch and the Eaglet, to explore possible trade into Hudson Bay. Groseilliers sailed on the Nonsuch, commanded by Captain Zachariah Gillam, while the Eaglet was commanded by Captain William Stannard and accompanied by Radisson. On 5 June 1668, both ships left port at Deptford, England, but the Eaglet was forced to turn back off the coast of Ireland.
The Nonsuch continued to James Bay, the southern portion of Hudson Bay, where its explorers founded, in 1668, the first fort on Hudson Bay, Charles Fort at the mouth of the Rupert River. (It was later known as Rupert House, and developed as the community of present-day Waskaganish, Quebec.) Both the fort and the river were named after the sponsor of the expedition, Prince Rupert of the Rhine, one of the major investors and soon to be the new companys first governor. After a successful trading expedition over the winter of 1668–69, Nonsuch returned to England on 9 October 1669 with the first cargo of fur resulting from trade in Hudson Bay. The bulk of the fur – worth £1,233 – was sold to Thomas Glover, one of Londons most prominent furriers. This and subsequent purchases by Glover made it clear the fur trade in Hudson Bay was viable.
The Governor and Company of Adventurers of England Trading into Hudsons Bay was incorporated on 2 May 1670, with a royal charter from King Charles II. The charter granted the company a monopoly over the region drained by all rivers and streams flowing into Hudson Bay in northern Canada. The area was named Ruperts Land after Prince Rupert, the first governor of the company appointed by the King. This drainage basin of Hudson Bay constitutes 1.5 million square miles, comprising over one-third of the area of modern-day Canada and stretches into the present-day north-central United States. The specific boundaries were unknown at the time. Ruperts Land would eventually become Canadas largest land purchase in the 19th century.
The HBC established six posts between 1668 and 1717. Rupert House (1668, southeast), Moose Factory (1673, south) and Fort Albany, Ontario (1679, west) were erected on James Bay; three other posts were established on the western shore of Hudson Bay proper: Fort Severn (1689), York Factory (1684) and Fort Churchill (1717). Inland posts were not built until 1774. After 1774, York Factory became the main post because of its convenient access to the vast interior waterway systems of the Saskatchewan and Red rivers. Called factories (because the factor, i.e., a person acting as a mercantile agent did business from there), these posts operated in the manner of the Dutch fur trading operations in New Netherlands. By adoption of the Standard of Trade in the 18th century, the HBC ensured consistent pricing throughout Ruperts Land. A means of exchange arose based on the Made Beaver (MB); a prime pelt, worn for a year and ready for processing: the prices of all trade goods were set in values of Made Beaver (MB) with other animal pelts, such as squirrel, otter and moose quoted in their MB (made beaver) equivalents. For example, two otter pelts might equal 1 MB.
During the fall and winter, First Nations men and European trappers accomplished the vast majority of the animal trapping and pelt preparation. They travelled by canoe and on foot to the forts to sell their pelts. In exchange they typically received popular trade goods such as knives, kettles, beads, needles, and the Hudsons Bay point blanket. The arrival of the First Nations trappers was one of the high points of the year, met with pomp and circumstance. The highlight was very formal, an almost ritualized Trading Ceremony between the Chief Trader and the Captain of the aboriginal contingent who traded on their behalf. During the initial years of the fur trade, prices for items varied from post to post.
The early coastal factory model of the English contrasted with the system of the French. They established an extensive system of inland posts at native villages, and sent traders to live among the tribes of the region, learning their languages and often forming alliances through marriages with indigenous women. In March 1686, the French sent a raiding party under the Chevalier des Troyes more than 1,300 km to capture the HBC posts along James Bay. The French appointed Pierre Le Moyne dIberville, who had shown great heroism during the raids, as commander of the companys captured posts. In 1687 an English attempt to resettle Fort Albany failed due to strategic deceptions by d Iberville. After 1688 England and France were officially at war, and the conflict played out in North America as well. D Iberville raided Fort Severn in 1690 but did not attempt to raid the well-defended local headquarters at York Factory. In 1693 the HBC recovered Fort Albany; dIberville captured York Factory in 1694, but the company recovered it the next year.
In 1697, d Iberville again commanded a French naval raid on York Factory. On the way to the fort, he defeated three ships of the Royal Navy in the Battle of Hudsons Bay (5 September 1697), the largest naval battle in the history of the North American Arctic. D Ibervilles depleted French force captured York Factory by laying siege to the fort and pretending to be a much larger army. The French retained all of the outposts except Fort Albany until 1713. (A small French and Indian force attacked Fort Albany again in 1709 during Queen Annes War but was unsuccessful. The economic consequences of the French possession of these posts for the company were significant; HBC did not pay any dividends for more than 20 years. See Anglo-French conflicts on Hudson Bay.
With the ending of the Nine Years War in 1697, and the War of the Spanish Succession in 1713 with the signing of the Treaty of Utrecht, France had gotten the short end of the stick. Among the treatys many provisions, it required France to relinquish all claims to Great Britain on the Hudson Bay, which again became a British possession (The Kingdom of Great Britain had been established following the union of Scotland and England in 1707). After the treaty, the HBC built Prince of Wales Fort, a stone star fort at the mouth of the nearby Churchill River. In 1782, during the American Revolutionary War, a French squadron under Jean-François de Galaup, comte de Lapérouse captured and demolished York Factory and Prince of Wales Fort in support of the American rebels.
In its trade with native peoples, Hudsons Bay Company exchanged wool blankets, called Hudsons Bay point blankets, for the beaver pelts trapped by aboriginal hunters. By 1700, point blankets accounted for more than 60% of the trade. The number of indigo stripes (a.k.a. points) woven into the blankets identified its finished size. A long-held misconception is that the number of stripes was related to its value in beaver pelts.
A parallel may be drawn between the HBCs control over Ruperts Land with the trade monopoly and government functions enjoyed by the Honourable East India Company over India during roughly the same period. The HBC invested £10,000 in the East India Company in 1732, which it viewed as a major competitor.
Hudsons Bay Companys first inland trading post was established by Samuel Hearne in 1774 with Cumberland House, Saskatchewan.
In 1779, other traders founded the North West Company (NWC) in Montreal as a seasonal partnership to provide more capital and to continue competing with the HBC. It became operative for the outfit of 1780 and was the first joint-stock company in Canada and possibly North America. The agreement lasted one year. A second agreement established in 1780 had a three-year term. The company became a permanent entity in 1783. By 1784, the NWC had begun to make serious inroads into the HBCs profits.
Hudsons Bay English explorers and colonists named Hudson Bay after Sir Henry Hudson who explored the bay beginning August 2, 1610 on his ship Discovery. On his fourth voyage to North America, Hudson worked his way around Greenlands west coast and into the bay, mapping much of its eastern coast. Discovery became trapped in the ice over the winter, and the crew survived onshore at the southern tip of James Bay. When the ice cleared in the spring, Hudson wanted to explore the rest of the area, but the crew mutinied on June 22, 1611. They left Hudson and others adrift in a small boat. No one knows the fate of Hudson or the crew members stranded with him, but historians see no evidence that they survived for long afterwards.
In 1668, Nonsuch reached the bay and traded for beaver pelts, leading to the creation of the Hudsons Bay Company (HBC) which still bears the historic name. The HBC negotiated a trading monopoly from the English crown for the Hudson Bay watershed, called Ruperts Land. France contested this grant by sending several military expeditions to the region, but abandoned its claim in the Treaty of Utrecht (April 1713).
BaffinBayThe English explorer John Davis was the first recorded European to enter the bay, arriving in 1585. In 1612, a group of English merchants formed the Company of Merchants of London, Discoverers of the North-West Passage. Their governor Thomas Smythe organized five expeditions to explore the northern coasts of Canada in search of a maritime passage to the Far East. Henry Hudson and Thomas Buttons explored Hudson Bay, William Gibbons Labrador, and Robert Bylot Hudson Strait and the area which became known as Baffins Bay after his pilot William Baffin. Aboard the Discovery, Baffin charted the area and named Lancaster, Smith, and Jones Sounds after members of his company. By the completion of his 1616 voyage, Baffin held out no hope of an ice-free passage and the area remained unexplored for another two centuries. Over time, his account came to be doubted until it was confirmed by John Ross 1818 voyage. More advanced scientific studies followed in 1928, in the 1930s and after World War II by Danish, American and Canadian expeditions.
Northern Canada colloquially the North, is the vast northernmost region of Canada variously defined by geography and politics. Politically, the term refers to three territories of Canada: Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut. Similarly, the Far North (when contrasted to the North) may refer to the Canadian Arctic: the portion of Canada north of the Arctic Circle and lies east of Alaska and west of Greenland. This area covers about 39 percent of Canadas total land area, but has less than 1 percent of Canadas population.
This region was heavily involved in the North American fur trade during its peak importance, and is home to many Métis people who originated in that trade. The area was mostly part of Ruperts Land or the North-Western Territory under the nominal control of the Hudsons Bay Company (HBC) from 1670–1869. The HBCs claim was purchased by the Canadian government in 1869, and shortly thereafter the government made a series of treaties with the local First Nations regarding land title.
Greenland In 1500, King Manuel I of Portugal sent Gaspar Corte-Real to Greenland in search of a Northwest Passage to Asia which, according to the Treaty of Tordesillas, was part of Portugals sphere of influence. In 1501, Corte-Real returned with his brother, Miguel Corte-Real. Finding the sea frozen, they headed south and arrived in Labrador and Newfoundland. Upon the brothers return to Portugal, the cartographic information supplied by Corte-Real was incorporated into a new map of the world which was presented to Ercole I dEste, Duke of Ferrara, by Alberto Cantino in 1502. The Cantino planisphere, made in Lisbon, accurately depicts the southern coastline of Greenland.
In 1605–1607, King Christian IV of Denmark sent a series of expeditions to Greenland and Arctic waterways to locate the lost eastern Norse settlement and assert Danish sovereignty over Greenland. The expeditions were mostly unsuccessful, partly due to leaders who lacked experience with the difficult arctic ice and weather conditions, and partly because the expedition leaders were given instructions to search for the Eastern Settlement on the east coast of Greenland just north of Cape Farewell, which is almost inaccessible due to southward drifting ice. The pilot on all three trips was English explorer James Hall.
After the Norse settlements died off, Greenland came under the de facto control of various Inuit groups, but the Danish government never forgot or relinquished the claims to Greenland that it had inherited from the Norse. When it re-established contact with Greenland in the early 17th century, Denmark asserted its sovereignty over the island. In 1721, a joint mercantile and clerical expedition led by Danish-Norwegian missionary Hans Egede was sent to Greenland, not knowing whether a Norse civilization remained there. This expedition is part of the Dano-Norwegian colonization of the Americas. After 15 years in Greenland, Hans Egede left his son Paul Egede in charge of the mission there and returned to Denmark, where he established a Greenland Seminary. This new colony was centred at Godthåb (Good Hope) on the southwest coast. Gradually, Greenland was opened up to Danish merchants, and closed to those from other countries.