One of the earliest (and only) maps to illustrate the Louisiana purchase, which was completed less than 2 years prior to the publication of this map. The boundaries of Louisiana Territory are unique, showing the lack of knowledge in the Northwest and West, predating Lewis & Clark, Stephen Long, Humboldt and Pike's explorations of the various regions sold by France to the U.S. in 1803. A massive New Albion is shown extending to the Columbia River, landlocking Louisiana in the West. Virtually no sign of the Rocky Mountains and many of the other geographical features of the Transmississippi West. An excellent collector's map of the Plains and Transmississippi West, illustrating the sparse knowledge at of the region at the beginning of the Century.
Aaron Arrowsmith (1750-1823) was born in Durham in 1750. He came to London for work around 1770, where he found employment as a surveyor for the city’s mapmakers. By 1790, he had set up his own shop which specialized in general charts. Arrowsmith’s three shops were located on or near Soho Square, a neighborhood the led him to rub shoulders with the likes of Joseph Banks, the naturalist, and Matthew Flinders, the hydrographer. Through his business ties and employment at the HO, Arrowsmith made other important relationships with Alexander Dalrymple, the HBC, and other companies. In 1810 he became Hydrographer to the Prince of Wales and, in 1820, Hydrographer to the King. He died in 1823, whereby the business passed to his sons, Aaron and Samuel, and, later, his nephew, John.