Fine example of Louis Delarochette's Map of North America by J. Palairet, published at the conclusion of the conclusion of the French & Indian (or Seven Years) War in London.
The shows the revised boundaries in North America and the West Indies following the Treaty of Paris, which ended the French & Indian (or Seven Years) War (1756-1783). This global conflict resulted in a decisive British victory over France and Spain, the consequences of which literally redrew the map, as massive amounts of territory were transferred to British control. The map includes a table showing the "Methodical Divisions of North America," which presents a color-coded, snapshot of the newly revised colonial possessions of the various 18th Century super-powers. British possessions (outlined in pink) embrace all of North America east of the Mississippi River. In addition to the traditional Thirteen Colonies, these domains included Quebec (with its borders newly circumscribed) and the Ohio Valley, won from France; as well as Florida, won from Spain.
Along the western bank of the Mississippi River is the massive province of Louisiana (outlined in green), which is shown to remain a French possession. However, unbeknownst to Delarochette, Louisiana had been transferred to Spanish sovereignty through a secret treaty as compensation for Madrid's ill-fated support for France during the war. It took some time for news of this arrangement to reach London. Spain (whose possessions are outlined in yellow) is shown to have retained sovereignty over Mexico (including Texas, New Mexico and California), Cuba, Santo Domingo, Puerto Rico, as well as its Central and South American colonies. However, the map shows that the British made notable gains in the West Indies, acquiring the islands of St. Vincent, Grenada, Dominica and Tobago from France. All of these transfers of territory are carefully detailed through explanations on the map.
Geographically, Delarochette loosely borrowed his depiction from Jean Palairet's Carte De L'Amerique Septentrionale (London, 1755). However, Delarochette's map includes "considerable Alterations & Improvem[en]ts", most notably in the level of detail expressed throughout. For his depiction of the Thirteen Colonies and the adjacent interior, Delarochette used John Mitchell's A Map of the British and French Dominions in North America Map (1755). For his portrayal of Eastern Canada and the Great Lakes, he consulted Jacques Nicolas Bellin's Carte de la Partie Orientale… and Carte de la Partie Occidentale de la Nouvelle France ou Canada (1744). He derived his depiction of the Mississippi basin from J.B.B. D'Anville's Carte de la Louisiane (1752).
Delarochette includes a fascinating portrayal of the American West. Most notably, one will notice the appearance of the mythical 'River of the West' flowing into the Pacific, having supposedly been discovered by Martin d'Aguilar in 1603. Inscriptions concerning 'New Albion' or California notes Sir Francis Drake's visit to region in 1578, and the naming of the Sierra Nevada, or 'Snowy Mountains' by the Spaniards in 1542. An apocryphal strait appears in the Northwest, supposedly discovered by Juan de Fuca in 1592.
Louis Stanislaw d'Arcy Delarochette (1731-1802) was a prolific British cartographer of Huguenot decent, who worked with many of London's leading map publishers. The present map is graced by an attractive rococo cartouche and features the imprint "Printed for John Bowles at the Black Horse in Cornhil, & Carington Bowles in St. Pauls Church Yard, London".
Delarochette's map is rare on the market and one of the few large format maps to illustrate the status of the British Colonial interests at the conclusion of the French & Indian War.
Jean Palairet (1697-1774) was a mapmaker and teacher. He was born in Montauban, France, but emigrated to England as a young man. He worked as an agent for the French States General and as the French tutor to the children of George II. Later, he served as the Agent to the Dutch States-General in London. He wrote works on orthography and French grammar, as well as published a geography primer, a teaching atlas, and his more famous map of the colonies with an accompanying pamphlet.