Carte de la Louisiane et du Cours du Mississipi Dressee sur un Grand Nombre de Memoires Entr'autres sur ceux de Mr. le Maire
By: Delisle / Covens & Mortier
Date: 1730 (circa) Amsterdam
Original Size: 17.5 x 23.5 inches (44 x 60 cm)
This is a fine reproduction of an authentic antique map of the French territory in America known as "La Louisiana," which extended from the Rocky Mountains to the English colonies, just east of the Appalachians. The map is a later, re-engraving of Delisle’s seminal map by Covens and Mortier published out of Amsterdam circa 1730.
This was a very influential map of the French possession of Louisiana that combined numerous cartographic works of the previous half century and became a landmark of mapping North America, more specifically, the Mississippi River Valley and the Great Lakes Region. This was the first detailed map to show the Gulf region as well as accurately depict the true route of the Mississippi river the various tributaries feeding the mighty river as well as its origins. While the map precedes Jacques Bellin’s map of the Great Lakes by almost 30 years, the two are almost identical in their depiction of Lake Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario.
The map includes the routes of the explorations De Soto, Tonty, Moscoso, Denis, and Cavelier as well as notes the locations of various Native American tribes and French forts. Delisle’s map was the first to name Texas (Mission de los Tejas) as well as New Orleans. An inset of the Mississippi Delta and Mobile Bay fills the lower right corner, titled Carte Particuliere des Embouchures de la Riviere S. Louis et de la Mobile.
The map was designed for the political purpose of invalidating the English claims west of the Appalachian Mountains and laid claim to Carolina by the French, which provoked an angry English response. Of course while the French used maps like these to lay claim to vast amounts of new land across America, they had very little control if any over the land within their maps and the millions of Native Americans it was home to.
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What can be referred to as modern cartography has been around for over 550 years. Throughout that time an enormous amount of new land was discovered, cities were founded while others perished. International trade and travel became the norm, political borders were ever-changing, and numerous wars were waged. With all that being said, hundreds of thousands of maps were created that show such events and episodes in time.
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