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Description

Fine example of the first French edition of this important early map of the Province of Quebec, the St. Lawrence River and Valley, and northern New York State and Maine, drawn according to the recently concluded Treaty of Peace of 1763.

Shortly after the conclusion of the French & Indian War, the British undertook a number of important surveys, in order to update the existing French surveys of what had been New France. Captain Jonathan Carver, led a survey of the region from the mouth of the St. Lawrence to the Thousand Islands, the results of which form the basis for this map. The map provides a fine depiction of the province of Quebec as bounded by George III's Proclamation of October 7, 1763. This document demarcated the boundaries of the North American territories gained following the French and Indian War, as well as providing for the establishment of representative government and the institution of law. Quebec's boundaries were defined as follows:

The Government of Quebec bounded on the Labrador Coast by the River St. John, and from thence by a Line drawn from the Head of that River through the Lake St. John, to the South end of the Lake Nipissim; from whence the said Line, crossing the River St. Lawrence, and the Lake Champlain, in 45. Degrees of North Latitude, passes along the High Lands which divide the Rivers that empty themselves into the said River St. Lawrence from those which fall into the Sea; and also along the North Coast of the Baye des Chaleurs, and the Coast of the Gulph of St. Lawrence to Cape Rosieres, and from thence crossing the Mouth of the River St. Lawrence by the West End of the Island of Anticosti, terminates at the aforesaid River of St. John.

This map is also interesting for its attempt to integrate French and British survey data. The source of the French data is unclear, but the French naturally had ample time to conduct detailed surveys during their occupation of the region. The British data was assembled by Jonathan Carver, who served in the French and Indian War and was with Wolfe at the taking of Quebec (1759). He is best known for making an epic journey of exploration from Mackinac to the Mississippi, up the River to the St. Francis and back to Mackinac via Lake Superior. He published an account of this trip in Travels through the Interior Parts of North America (1778), which fell into disrepute because of numerous embellishments and fabrications introduced by the publisher.

The map is based upon an English map first issued on February 19, 1776. This rare French edition was issued the following year, and would later appear in Le Rouge's Atlas Ameriquain Septentrional Contenant les Details des Differentes Provinces, de ce vaste Continent. Traduit des Cartes levées par ordre du Gouvernement Britannique. Par le Major Holland, Evans, Scull, Mouzon, Ross, Cook, Lane, Gilbert, Gardner, Hillock &c. &c.

Reference
Goss, The Mapping of North America, #61; Phillips, A List of Maps of America, p.729; and Stevens & Tree, “Comparative Cartography” #73a (in Tooley, The Mapping of America); Kershaw, K.A. #766.