One of the Earliest Regional Maps of The Southern Theater of War Published in Paris
Rare separately published map of the Southern British Colonies, shown at a time when the French were just beginning to actively join the American Rebel cause in 1778.
The map is one of the first maps published following the alliance formed between France and the American Colonies, in February 1778. The title of the map translates as follows:
Southern Part Of The English Possessions in America, To serve as intelligence in the present War, between the English and their Colonies. Drawn from the best maps English maps . . .
The choice of the words " English Possessions in America," rather than Colonies, offers a greater legitimacy to the French plan to liberate the Americans from the possession of France's English rivals. At the time of the creation of the map, a French expeditionary force led by Comte D'Estaing was then in route to join the Americans in contesting the British Royal Navy. The British had effective control of Canada, New York City and Newport, Rhode Island, but were preparing a dramatic southern offensive which would see them seizing Savannah, Georgia, in December, 1778.
The map extends along the Atlantic coast from Philadelphia to Jekyll Island, Georgia, and inland to the Mississippi River, including excellent details in the Ohio Valley.
Among the more unusual features is a Welsh settlement shown near Craven County and "Palatines," near present-day New Bern. The map is also a treasure trove of information on early Native American settlements in the South, especially in Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama, locating well over 100 Indian Villages and tribal names.
The map was created by Verrier and Perrier, who assumed management of Roch-Josèphe Julien's establishment in 1777, which has been called "the first true map shop in Paris."
The map was created in response to the French public's demand for maps of the American Colonies, following France's formal entry into the Revolutionary War, pursuant to the Treaty of Alliance of February, 1778, a resulted of the relentless efforts of Benjamin Franklin.
The present map was drawn largely from John Mitchell's A Map of the British & French Dominions in North America (1755), which was by far the era's most influential map of the subject.
The map is scarce on the market, as is it companion map of the Northern Theater.