Place Published: [Paris]
Date Published: 1743
Edition: 1st Edition
Binding: No binding
SCARCE AND IMPORTANT MAP OF ONE OF THE EARLIEST OF NORTH AMERICA
First edition, first state. An important 1743 map and is one of Bellin's earliest maps of any part of North America. This map covers all of North America from the Arctic to the Spanish Main, including modern day Canada, the United States, Mexico, Central America, and the West Indies. By far this map's most striking feature is the broad open water route extending westward from Lake Superior, through the Lake of the Woods (Lac des Bois), and continuing via the River of the West (Fleuve de L'Ouest) through Lake Winnipeg (Ouinipigon) to the mysterious Mountain of Radiant Stones (Montagne de Pierres Brillantes). This unusual presentation of the American west is based upon Bellin's extrapolations from the explorations of French Canadian fur trader and explorer Pierre Gaultier de Varennes, Le Sieur de La Verendrye. This river system is based heavily upon a canoe map drawn for La Verendrye in 1728 by the American Indian Cree guide Auchagah.
The ultimate westernmost point on this map, near the Mountain of Radiant Stones, is in fact still several thousand miles from the Pacific. Bellin's error here comes from his attempts to extrapolate from the distances, direction, and portages illustrated on Auchagah's map compounded by a lack of surveyed points west of the Lake of the Woods. The result is a double mapping of Lake Winnipeg and a vast overestimation of the distance represented. The 'Montagne de Pierres Brillantes' are an early American Indian descriptive term for the Rocky Mountains, a near impenetrable barrier located about 1200 miles further east than Bellin's map suggests.
Though not textually identified, Bellin's four spurious Islands in Lake Superior are represented. Most believe that the earliest representation of these islands occurred in Bellin's 1744 specific map of the Great Lakes. This map, though present in the same publication, actually predates the 1744 map in its construction by one year. "Dheulland Sculp."
Paper flat size: 14 x 11 inches with right border no. 20. Was folded, now flat and has been cleaned and deacidified, good condition.
Reference: Tooley, R. V., Map Collectors Circle, vol. 96] #692.
The map was produced for Charlevoix's 1744 Histoire et description générale de la Nouvelle France.
Good. Item #8609