Carte Nouvelle de L’Amerique Angloise
A striking compendium of North American geographic misconceptions from the 17th century.
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This uncommon map of the eastern part of North America was issued in Pierre Mortier’s Suite de Neptune Francois in 1700. The image draws heavily from Robert Morden’s 1698 production, New Map of the English Empire in America, though the title block references Sieur S. – no doubt a reference to Nicholas Sanson. The late French Royal cartographer was held in high esteem across Europe, and it’s possible that including his name would have added greater authority to the image.
Despite the attempt at authenticity, the map captures some of the best known geographic errors in North America from the 17th century. A prominent mountain range is shown pictorially between Michigan and Florida, while savannas and deserts can be found in the Carolinas. The mouth of the Mississippi River is placed too far west, though this was the result of a deliberate attempt by the French explorer La Salle to “sweeten” its geographic location, thus adding impetus to his plan for the development of a vast French Empire along the mighty river. The Great Lakes are distinctly misshapen and contain a number of mythical islands. An interesting combination of place names also alludes to the map’s convoluted publication history; with most annotations in French but a few labeled in English, Spanish, or phonetically (note the Fort des mi Amis at the southern tip of Lake Michigan).
Despite the plethora of inaccuracies, the map presents an important theater in the ongoing colonial rivalry in North America between the French, British and Spanish. Numerous forts are dotted throughout the image, some of which are highlighted in red or are accompanied by annotations relating their history or economic importance. Portages, key to the regional transportation network, are prominently shown and an inset map of Boston Harbor can be seen in the upper left. Though they would play an important role as allies on all sides in the perennial conflict, the Native American presence in notably absent from the image.
References: Burden II, 765.
Publication Date: 1700
Author: Pierre Mortier
Sheet Width (in): 19.40
Sheet Height (in): 23.40
Condition Description: Soft creasing along the horizontal centerfold, and the outer edges are moderately worn. Several of the worst areas of wear and tearing have been reinforced on the verso with archival tape. Chipped corners on the right side. Remains in very good condition, a bold impression with hand outline color.
1 in stock