Seminal map of North America and the Great Lakes, which would influence the cartography of the region for the next 100 years and one of the earliest printed maps to focus solely on North America.
Along with Sanson's Folio map issued a year earlier, this map includes many firsts and changes of great note. The Rio Grande is shown draining into the Mer Vermelio (Sea of Cortez) rather than the Gulf of Mexico. Much improvement in the drainage of the Great Lakes and St Lawrence.
The map draws heavily on the Jesuit explorations to the west and the travels of the French Fur Traders. Greater detail shown in Hudson Bay than in earlier maps. California is shown as an island, with excellent detail in the Southwest. Cibola and Conibas are named, as are the Apaches regions.
The Mississippi is not yet well charted, coming prior to La Salle's reports. The classic open Great Lakes from Sanson's North American map are shown in fine detail. From the 1657 edition of Sanson's L'Amerique en Plusieurs Cartes Nouvelles…
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; they are known for their clean style and extensive research. Sanson was largely responsible for beginning the shift of cartographic production and excellence from Amsterdam to Paris in the later-seventeenth century.
Sanson was born in Abbeville in Picardy. He made his first map at age twenty, a wall map of ancient Gaul. Upon moving to Paris, he gained the attention of Cardinal Richelieu, who made an introduction of Sanson to King Louis XIII. This led to Sanson's tutoring of the king and the granting of the title ingenieur-geographe du roi.
His success can be chalked up to his geographic and research skills, but also to his partnership with Pierre Mariette. Early in his career, Sanson 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 (1658), Sanson' atlas and the first French world atlas.