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Description

Fascinating map of North America, published posthumously by Mary Ann Rocque (the maker's wife) and Andrew Dury.

Rocque's map of North America is perhaps the single most accurate map of the whole of the continent to date, including much original western information not found on any other printed map. The map includes the recent Spanish, French and English discoveries in the West and Northwest, with numerous historical and geographical notes including speculation as to the source of the Missouri River.

The map is extensively annotated with information on Indian Treaties in North America and other bits of historical information about the British Colonies, including Drake's landfall in 1579 near San Francisco, where he took possession of the region for Queen Elizabeth on a free surrender of possession by the natives and a wonderful note on Bermuda, (If a terrestrial paradise is supposed, Bermuda claims it; no part of the world enjoys a pure Air, or more temperate Climate &c. is remarkable for Health, delicate Provisions, &c. they build swift sailing Vessels which they Sell to the Sugar Islands. They are dexterous in the recovery of Wrecks.). A large 'West Sea' is placed in the northwest and a note that it is very uncertain whether the region is land or sea.

The map depicts a radically different, and more informative cartography than the current French (i.e. D'Anville) cartography west of the Mississippi. Pikes Lake (unnamed) and Manton's River in the northwest are precursors of the River of the West, which would extend westwards out of the lake. These first two features appear to have been first seen on Nicolas Bellin's map of North America, 1755, following the manuscript of Verendrye. It is believed this is the first appearance of this information on an English map. Its cartography differs in the west from the Mitchell map of 1755, particularly in the Upper Mississippi River depiction. The source of the Rio Grande is marked as unknown.

Wheat notes that the map is an interesting map for the Mississippi Valley and the country to the west, especially good for what is now Arizona, showing all the villages named for the Apostles on Rio des Apostres (the Gila River). Fort St. John is shown in Texas on the Rio Grande, as is the road through Texas to Mexico. Another fascinating note describes Santa Fe and New Mexico. The boundaries of New England and Virginia by various early 17th Century charters extending to the West Coast are noted, with the boundaries plotted from the Atlantic to the Pacifica. Many other fascinating annotations are included in the map.

Reference
Seller & van Ee, 88; Streeter Sale 3911.