Rare Variant of the First Printed Map to Name the United States (Etats-Unis).
A previously inrecorded late edition of Enaut & Rapilly's landmark American map, generally regarded as the first map to name the United States.
First issued in 1779, this map and Lattre's map are considered the earliest to use the name Etats-Unis (United States) in the title of the map.
This rare separately issued map was revised to include the name Etats-Unis and include information from the Treaty of Paris, which ended the American Revolution. The second edition of 1783 includes significant new detail, both in the Colonies and along the NW Coast of America, where Cook's voyage and tracks are noted, along with the route of the Spanish Manilla Galleons along the West Coast. Main (sic) is named, although not yet a colony. East and West Florida are shown. The Carolinas and Virginia still extend to the Mississippi. Highly detailed depictions of the various Indian lands on both sides of the Mississippi. The remnants of the mythical River of the West are shown, with its terminus in Lake Ouinipignon (Winnepeg).
The map is a wonderful mix of updated information and perpetuated myth. Highly detailed allegorical cartouche shows America nurturing two Putti, with allegorical scenes referencing commerce and the fur trade.
Only one appearance of the 1783 edition of this map in a dealer catalogue has been noted in the past 20 years (Arkway, Catalogue 49). We offered a unique example of the map in 2004, bearing an extra medallion pasted down above the cartouche noting that the map is available from Chez Desnos in Paris.
While the color scheme in our example varies from the prior example of the 1783 edition we had in 2004, there does not seem to be any significant variance in the maps.
Louis Brion de la Tour (ca. 1743-1803) was a French geographer and demographer. Little is known about Louis’ early life, but some glimpses of his professional life survive. He did achieve the title of Ingénieur Géographe du Roi. Much of his work was done in partnership with Louis Charles Desnos, who was bookseller and geographical engineer for globes to the Danish Crown. He worked on the Indicateur fidèle ou guide des voyageurs, qui enseigne toutes les routes royales between 1762 and 1785. During his career he also worked on several atlases. By 1795, he had gained a pension from the National Assembly. Perhaps this pension was granted in part because his son, also Louis Brion de la Tour (1763-1823), was an engraver who made Revolutionary prints, as well as maps.