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Description:This magnificent, scarce, very large (52in x 38in) & highly detail map of North America was engraved in 1755 - dated in the title cartouche - by George De La Haye and was published by Jean Baptiste Bourguignon D Anville in his large elephant folio atlas Atlas Generale. Geopolitically this map is extremely significant drawn as war between the Global Powers of the day, France, England & Spain, was breaking, known in Europe as the Seven Year War known in North America as the French & Indian war. (Please see below for more detail) This map rivals John Mitchells "A Map of the British and French Dominions in North America published in 1755" - considered to be one of the most significant maps of North America published in the 18th & 19th centuries (a 1st edition of Mitchells map is currently for sale for $165,000). I have included an image of the Mitchell map for comparison. The D Anville map is considered by many to be cartographically superior to the Mitchell map, at a fraction of the price.
General Description: Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stable Paper color: - White Age of map color: - Colors used: - General color appearance: - Paper size: - 52in x 38in (1.32m x 960mm) Plate size: - 45in x 35in (1.12m x 890mm) Margins: - Min 1in (25mm)
Imperfections: Margins: - None Plate area: - Light ceasing along folds Verso: - Very small worm holes
Background: This extraordinary map of the eastern half of North America extends from Newfoundland, Canada to St. Augustine, Florida, stretching westward beyond the Mississippi as far as modern day Texas. The map includes both the original colonial colonies along the Atlantic seaboard from Maine to Georgia and the French claims in Louisiana (the Mississippi Valley) and modern day Canada. Florida is acknowledged as a Spanish enclave. Elevation is rendered in profile with fortifications, towns, and American Indian villages identified. A large inset map centres on the course of the St. Lawrence River from the Isle Aux Coudres to Lake Ontario. The is a very significant map, drawn from a definitive French perspective, defining the territorial alignments and claims within North America shortly following the outbreak of the French and Indian War, considered to be a New World reflection of the European Seven Years War. It is however notable that it began before the larger hostilities in Europe and most of the major battles involved primarily parties only loosely aligned with the French or English - most specifically American Indians and lawless frontiersman, who had their own political agenda. The war began with French incursions into western Pennsylvania and other territories claimed simultaneously by the French, English and American Indian forces. Just prior to the war, the French, in the interest of broadening their hold on the lucrative fur trade, established a series of forts, all of which are here noted, along the length of the Mississippi and further east, including Fort Duquesne (here Fort de Quene, Pittsburgh), Fort de la Presquisle, and for Le Beouf (here, Fort de la Riv Jaus Beufs). The map also recognizes British claims, only inland as far as the Appalachian Mountains, beyond which place names take on a noticeably French character. These last three forts occupied particularly contested territory under the control of the powerful British allied Iroquois League. The most contested of these was Fort Duquesne (modern day Pittsburgh) in direct opposition to another fort then being constructed by the Ohio Company, a trading and land speculation firm established by prominent Virginia colonials, including George Washington. The Virginian colonial governor responded to Duquesne by sending then Lieutenant George Washington and a band of Virginia militiamen to harass the French. The resulting Jumonville Affair, in which Washington oversaw an attack on a French Canadian diplomatic forces led by Joseph Coulon de Villiers de Jumonville, to warn the Ohio Company fort builders away from French claimed territory. The slaying of Jumonville and several other French diplomats prompted a response from French forces at Fort Duquesne, leading to Washingtons retreat and construction of Fort Necessity, really little more than a palisaded shack, marked here just south of Fort Duquesne. These events, all of which occurred in May of 1754, were said to have increased hostilities in Europe and led to the start of the Seven Year War in 1755. Beyond the political agenda of this map, is the map itself, being one of the finest and most heavily detailed maps of North America published in the mid 18th century. Ranking alongside the large 1755 Mitchell map in detail but judged by many as cartographically superior. Drawing on both French and British cartographical detail, D Anville identifies countless American Indian tribes, many of which, like the Sioux and Missouri, the British had only vague knowledge. Moreover, he also includes detail such as swamps, rapids, fords, abandoned villages, and even the ancient remnants of mound builder culture in the Ohio Valley. D Anville notably does not include Mitchells fictional Lake Superior islands. This map was originally published to accompany the pamphlet entitledMemoire sur la carte intitulee: Canada, Louisiane, & Terres angloises and was also published in four parts for D Anvilles Atlas General.
These large maps are hard to find in such good condition and make fantastic historical reference tools due to the size and high level of detail as with all D Anvilles work. (Ref: Tooley, M&B)