By: Henri Abraham Chatelain
Date: 1719 (Published) Amsterdam
Dimensions: 14.25 x 18 inches (36.2 cm x 45.7 cm)
This important, intriguing and informative map by Chatelain is highly sought after. It depicts Canada, the Great Lakes, and the path of the Mississippi River and constitutes a remarkable compendium of the best and most recent compilations of its day, depicting the locations and territories of various French Missions and Forts, of French and Indian settlements, significant river crossing locations, portages, and other information essential to explorers, trappers, to all who had travelled to the New World to reap the bounty afforded by it, particularly the fur-trading industry.
Another salient aspect of Chatelain’s map is the information bordering the cartographic image. With great care Chatelain names and places indigenous peoples of the various regions including those of Canada, the St. Lawrence River, those near Lake Huron, etc., notes the languages spoken by them and their tribal affiliations. He enumerates the wide variety of goods available and animals (wild game) to be found, the flora and fauna of this bountiful region are well described. Furthermore, furs and their trade value with different items are catalogued giving the viewer an appreciation of the socio-economic context in which early exploration took place.
The map was of great importance in its day, for it offered a clear guide to the entire region. All known waterways, including the Great Lakes are depicted and named. The map signals that the search for a water passage to the Pacific was still underway at the time. From a standpoint of phases of cartographic knowledge of the Great Lakes, this map serves as an important representation of the region after the maps of Hennepin, and de Jode, and prior to the maps by Bellin, and Sanson. It is without a doubt a staple piece for any Great Lakes map collection.
Condition: This map is in B+ condition. Very pale remnants of penciled-in text are visible on extremely close examination. These areas can be easily cleaned by professional archivist methodology.
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