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Rare German Map of the Theater of the French & Indian War.

Rhode's map is a remarkable blend of up to date cartographic information, much of which has gone unnoticed by scholars and historians. Precious little has been written about this map, much of it incorrect.

In the south, the map draws from a number of early English sources, including the Fry-Jefferson map of Virginia and Maryland. Most notably, the Piedmont regions of North Carolina and the course of the (true) Yadkin River and the Wachau/Wachaw, Cossart, and Freydeck (all Moravian) place names, derive from this source. Interestingly, the misplacement of "Yadkin" river place name, onto one of its western tributaries, is drawn from d'Anville, who seems to be the primary source for the map. The location of "Totero Ft" comes from the 1733 Moseley map of North Carolina.

The northern part of the map would seem to be based upon a mix of D'Anville's 1746 map of North America and Mitchell's 1755 map of North America. The shape of the Great Lakes is clearly based upon D'Anville, and bears little resemblence to the classical Mitchell treatment of Lake Michigan and Lake Erie. Second, as noted by Lloyd Brown in Early Maps of the Ohio Valley, the treatment of the Ohio Valley would seem to predate the Mitchell and Evans maps.

Brown praises the map as "one of the earliest attempts to indicate the topography of the Ohio Valley and the surrounding country, as well as the dense forests and mountain ranges. The use of fine shading and hachures to indicate relief is unusual for the period..." Brown further notes that Rhode seems to differentiate between the settled and unsettled regions of America through the use of forests in relief, and shows a great savannah along the banks of the Wabash and Illinois rivers.The projection on which it is drawn accounts for the distortions of shapes and distances.

The language of the map is an interesting combination of Latin, German and English, with a few local Indian names included as well. Brown, who clearly studied the map much more closely than Kershaw, does not suggest a Mitchell connection. There is no mention in any source that two states of the map exist, this state, which includes Fort Frederic (Crown Point) in an inset, and the first state, which pre-dates the inclusion of the inset. The inset of Crown Point has been adapted from a plan which appeared in Le Rouge's Recueil des Plans del'Amerique Septentrionale, Paris, 1755.

The map depicts in great detail the English colonies from Pamlico Sound to Nova Scotia, along with the French controlled Great Lakes and the contested regions of the Ohio Valley.

The map is perhaps the finest general map of the region during the French and Indian War published in any country other than the belligerent nations. For this reason, Rhode's map occupies a unique niche as it is neutral in its detail, while the maps published in France and England were created to advance their claims.

Condition Description
2-sheet map, joined. Early permission stamp in the lower left corner. Backed on an early sheet of paper. Minor fold splits at right side of map, repaired on verso.
Lloyd Brown, Early Maps of the Ohio Valley, #23; Sellers & Van Ee, Maps & Charts of North America & the West Indies 1750-1789, #59; Tooley, Dictionary of Mapmakers, p. 536.