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Nicholas Sanson:  Amerique Septentrionale . . . 1650

Maps of California (California, Nevada, Arizona)

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Title: Amerique Septentrionale . . . 1650

Map Maker: Nicholas Sanson

Place / Date: Paris / 1650

Coloring: Hand Colored

Size: 21.5 x 15.25 inches

Condition: VG+

Price: $4,200.00

Inventory ID: 49860


One of the Most Influential American Maps of the 17th Century.

Nice old color example of Sanson's landmark map of North America. 

Sanson's map was the first map to depict the Great Lakes in a recognizable form, and the first to name Lake Ontario and Lake Superior.  Sanson drew on information derived from The Jesuit Relations, published in Paris in 1649, which provided contemporary accounts of many regions of North America visited by French missionaries.  His sources included Father Paul Ragueneau's account of his visit to Niagara Falls and Jean Nicollet's discovery of Lake Michigan in 1634.  Montreal is named, having been founded by the Sieur de Maisonneuve in 1642.

The area delineated as "Mer Glaciale" is a reference to the Northwest Passage. On the east coast "N[ouvelle] Amsterdam" appears (New York), as does the first appearance on a printed map of  "N[ouvelle] Suede," the Swedish colony centered on Fort Christina, founded on the site of present-day Wilmington, Delaware, in 1638.

In the Southwest, Sanson draws up the reports of the travels in New Mexico of Father Alonso Benavides Memorial, published in Madrid, in 1630. It is the first printed map to label "S[anta] Fe" (incorrectly shown as the Rio Grande) and the "Apache," "Navajo" and the "Taosij" (Taos) Indian regions. California is shown as a large island, based largely on Johannes de Laet's map of 1630. The region in the north called "Conibas" represents a mythical land between North America and Asia.

Sanson is regarded as the founder of the 'French School' of cartography. His map of North America was the most advanced depiction of the continent in the mid-17th Century and was the source map for most subsequent maps for the next 40 years.

Sanson was the first to employ a sinusoidal projection, which was also adopted by John Flamsteed, the first Royal Astronomer appointed by the King of England.

The present example is state 3 of the map (the second obtainable state), with Lake Ontario shaded. State 2 lacks the shading, but is otherwise identical.

References: Burden 294 (state 3, with Lake Ontario shaded); McLaughlin 12.

Related Categories:
Maps of California (California, Nevada, Arizona)
Maps of Midwest America (Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Ohio)
Maps of North America