Fine example of the first edition of Sanson's seminal map of the Great Lakes.
Sanson's map of Canada and the Great Lakes is one of the most important American maps of the period and a landmark in the mapping of the Great Lakes regions, which would influence regional maps for the next 100 years. This is the first map to attach the name L. Erie ou Du Chat to one of the Great Lakes (the latter being a reference to the local Indians). The drainage basin of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence is shown in greater detail than Sanson's map of North America.
The map identifies both Montreal and Quebec. The map incorporates many of the Jesuit discoveries in the New World. In addition, Long Island is shown and New Amsterdam is correctly located. The Delaware River is shown accurately, including the Swedish Colony. The map was separately issued from 1656 to 1658, then bound into some of Sanson's Atlases.
The present example is an unusually fine dark impression, with fine original color. The first edition of the map can be identified by the date (1656), which was later revised to 1676.
Nicholas Sanson (1600-1667) is considered the father of French cartography in its golden age from the mid-seventeenth century to the mid-eighteenth. Over the course of his career he produced over 300 maps. His success can be chalked up to his geographic and research skills, but also to his partnership with Pierre Mariette. Previously, Sanson had worked primarily with the publisher Melchior Tavernier. Mariette purchased Tavernier’s business in 1644. Sanson worked with Mariette until 1657, when the latter died. Mariette’s son, also Pierre, helped to publish the Cartes générales de toutes les parties du monde.