Carte de la Louisiane et du Cours du Mississippi


A slightly reduced version of Delisle’s landmark map of French territory in North America.

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Originally issued in 1718, Guillaume Delisle’s map of North America set the bar for the European geographic understanding of the continent’s interior in the first half of the 18th century. Because of his proximity to the French court, the latest reports on travel and navigation were made available to the cartographer, who was known for his application of rigorous quality control and scientific principles. Delisle was the first cartographer to incorporate the discoveries of De Soto, Cavelier, Tonty, Moscoso, and Denis into a comprehensive image focused on the course of the Mississippi River, which conveniently traversed through the heart of French America.

The river and it’s tributaries are well documented on the image, with numerous Native American tribes and geographic features identified. Tribes are classified into three groups; settled, deranged, or destroyed. Other fascinating contemporary details include the routes of various explorers, interesting early toponyms (see Chicagou) and numerous annotations. Of particular interest is the one describing a mission founded in ‘Teijas’ in 1716. This is considered to be the first instance that the name Texas appeared in print. The map is also the first to identify the French

The original issue included a larger portion of the northeastern coast (in which Delisle conveniently minimized the territorial claims of the English), as well as an inset map of the mouth of the Mississippi. But this particular example was published in 1734 as part of Jean Frederic Bernard’s Recueil de Voyages and is more centrally focused on French Louisiana. Oddly, this version omits New Orleans, which appeared on the original for the first time.

Map Details

Publication Date: 1734

Author: Guillame Delisle

Sheet Width (in): 17.50

Sheet Height (in): 14.50

Condition: A-

Condition Description: Faint toning around the outer edges most visible along the upper portion of the sheet. A bit of creasing along the vertical centerfold, with the binding strip faintly visible on the verso. Remains in very good condition, a crisp impression on a clean sheet.


1 in stock