Rare Jean Jollain edition of Jean Boisseau's map of Guadalupe, the earliest large format printed map of the island of Guadaloupe, printed shorty after its initial settlement in 1635.
Guadalupe was established when Columbus' second journey brought him to this island on November 14, 1493. He named it for an image in a Spanish monastery he had visited: Santa María de Guadalupe de Extremadura.
No settlements were established on the island for many years, but it was used as a trading post until 1635, after Captain Pierre Belain d'Ensambuc had sent explorers to Guadalupe and decided it would be lucrative to settle and cultivate tobacco on the island. Thereafter, the French Compagnie des Îles de l'Amérique sent 550 men under the leadership of Charles Liénard de l'Olive to Guadalupe on June 27, 1635. De L'Olive waged brutal war against the Caribs in Guadalupe from 1636 to 1639, throughout which only 30 to 40 French died. Then in 1640, reinforcements from St. Christophe of Frenchmen allowed for the colonists to completely crush Carib resistance except for some few who fled to Basse-Terre and would sign a peace treaty with the French colonists in 1641.
The map is extremely rare. We know only of the examples of the first and second state in the British Library.
Early tobacco cultivation in Guadalupe through the first half of the 17th century was sustained by relatively small numbers of indentured servants and European laborers under small scale proprietors, and in 1654 80% of the population of Guadalupe was of European origin, with two-thirds being indentured servants. Both the numbers of Europeans and the proportion of indentured labor would drop dramatically over the second half of the 17th century with the importation of African slaves. In 1654, 67% of the population was of European origin, by 1671 that number dropped to 13%.
From 1672 until 1678-allied with Britain until 1674-France was at war with the Dutch and faced enormous difficulty defending its colonies in the Caribbean; it was in this context of defense that Guadalupe was royally annexed into the Kingdom of France in 1674. In 1714, the French general government of the American islands divided in two, and Guadalupe was placed under the control of the governor on Martinique.