Fine example of this rare late state of Louis Delarochette's Map of North America by J. Palairet, originally published at the conclusion of the French & Indian (or Seven Years) War in London.
The present example of the map is of special note for its depiction of the recently purchased Louisiana Territory, which has been joined with the original 13 United States with a green wash color to depict a single unified United States..
The map shows the revised boundaries in North America and the West Indies following the Treaty of Versailles, which ended the American Revolution. Geographically, Delarochette loosely borrowed his original depiction of North America 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. Like previous editions, the map includes a table and is color-coded to show lands belonging to the United States and various European powers: lands owned by the U.S. (pale green); Great Britain (pink), Spain (yellow), and France (bright green).
Florida (including West Florida, which extended to included the coasts of Alabama, Mississippi and part of Louisiana) is shown to still be owned by Spain. The U.S. would not acquire Florida until 1819. The boundary of Canada and the U.S. in the west (roughly following the 49th-parallel) is anticipated, although the line would not be decided until some years later.
This present edition of the map has been extensively revised in the west. Gone are most of the traces of the mythical River of the West and other fanciful cartographic myths which were popularized by J.N. De L'Isle, Philippe Buache and Robert de Vaugondy in the 1750s. In its place, a singular tentative "R. Oregan" stretches from just west of the terminus of the Mississippi River to the entrance of Juan De Fuca, reflecting the cartographic conception of the northwest immediately prior to the return of Lewis & Clark. The river systems west of Hudson's Bay have been greatly refined as a result of the explorations of the Hudson's Bay Company and other explorers.
The Mackenzie River leading to the Canadian Arctic, which has been discovered by Alexander Mackenzie in 1789 is added, however his 1792 route over the Rockies to the Pacific is not yet taken into account. The west coast of America is shown with far greater accuracy than in earlier editions of the map. The general outline of the west coast is broadly accurate, and in the northwest the discoveries of James Cook in 1778 are shown, although the map does not include references to George Vancouver's discoveries from 1792 to 1794. Progressively, this updated edition of the map removes the annotations referencing the discoveries of Juan De Fuca, Martin Aguilar and Sir Francis Drake, as well as the curious cartographic misconceptions associated with the Spanish sighting of the Sierra Nevada mountains in 1542.
Dated 1811 based upon the note on the slip cover, the map presents a remarkable snapshot on the eve of two cartographic landmarks, Alexander von Humboldt's map of New Spain and the results of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, both of which were in the process of being released at the time this map was being offered for sale in London.
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 in any edition. This "Louisiana Purchase" edition would seem to be unique, as we were unable to locate any other recorded example of the map in this color scheme. This is the only example we have ever seen that is both separately issued with slip case and in full original color.
A fine artifact.