Carte Des Pays connus sous le nom de Canada dans laquelle sont distinguees
By: Robert de Vaugondy
Date: 1755 (published) Paris
Dimensions: 19 x 26.25 inches (48.25 x 66.5 cm)
This rare and important map by Robert de Vaugondy, royal geographer to France’s Louis XV, depicts British and French Colonies throughout the Great Lakes and Eastern Seaboard of North America at the onset of the French and Indian War.
The Franch and Indian War pitted the colonies of British America against those of New France, each side supported by military units from their ruling country and their Native American allies. Land claims already settled by colonists as well as considerable swathes of territory, including the Ohio River Valley and the Trans-Appalachian West were at stake when this map was printed.
In the mid-eighteenth century, both the French and British governments were making claims to the territories, and publication of this map served to increase tensions in the ongoing international boundary dispute between them. Much attention was also focused on the French colony of Acadia, many of whose inhabitants would ultimately be resettled by the British to various parts of the USA, including Louisiana, where they made a significant cultural impact which is tangible to this day.
The map was dedicated to the Comte d’Argenson, Minister of War to France’s Louis XV. This dedication raised the ire of British delegates to the Acadia Boundary Commission, as they perceived the map to be propaganda, a government-backed attempt by the French to push the boundaries of British Acadia farther east. Suspicion was fueled by advertisements in the French gazette Mercure de France attesting to both the accuracy of the map and the official sources of information upon which it was based.
The map was based on the 1750-1751 observations by the Marquis de Chabert which had been reported to the French Academy of Sciences in 1752. The first state of the map was published in 1752. The second state, published in 1753 and 1755, corrects issues in the first including the course of the Ohio River, and adds French forts near Lake Erie which were missing from the first state. British Colonies as far south as the current state of North Carolina are depicted.
The map is scientific and decorative at once, with much attention devoted to accurate geographic and topographic detail without forgoing decorative embellishment. This is in the form of an elegant title cartouche featuring a coat of arms and a lovely vignette depicting a coastal scene with a sailing ship at anchor and cascading waterfalls.
Condition: This hand coloured map is in A condition with a strong impression on clean paper and full margins on all sides.
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