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An Early Re-Issue of a Cartographic Landmark Map

Finely executed map of the Southern part of North America, based upon De L'Isle's landmark map of the region, from Chatelain's monumental 7 volume Atlas Historique.

Based upon French royal mapmaker Guillaume De L'Isle's monumental map of the region, the map illustrates the advancement of cartographic knowledge in  Texas, Florida and the Gulf Coast, a region then only recently opened to non-Spanish Flag ships.

The map also provides marvelous detail of the regions drained by the Mississippi, drawing upon the early French exploration of the region at the end of the 17th Century, which was just beginning to find its way into printed maps. The Apalachicoli River, leading to Caskigi is one of the more interesting features in the South.

De L'Isle's Map

Chatelain bases his map on Guillaume De L'Isle's monumental Carte du Mexique . . . , first issued in 1703. De L'Isle's map is drawn from the reports brought back to France from the survivor's of the La Salle expedition into the interior of North America and from information derived from the explorations of Bienville and d'Iberville. In the year preceding the publication of the map, De L'Isle utilized his position with the King of France to gain access to the best available information from the New World. During this time period, he assiduously compiled the geographical data from the reports of the French Jesuit Missionaries and Explorers in North America, along with Spanish manuscript maps (often copied by the Missionaries while they were acting in the service of the Spanish as spiritual guides and gaining their confidence). The result of this work were a series of landmark maps of North America, including his map of North America ( L'Amerique Septentrionale, 1700), Canada and the Great Lakes ( Carte du Canada ou de la Nouvelle France, 1703), and the Mississippi Valley & Gulf Coast ( Carte de la Louisiane et du Cours du Mississipi 1708).

Carl Wheat called the map a "towering landmark along the path of Western cartographic development." De L'Isle's map also includes greater accuracy in the Great Lakes region and in its depiction of English settlements along the East Coast. Excellent detail of the Indian villages in East Texas, based upon the reports of d'Iberville and the Spanish missionaries. The best depiction of the Southwest to date, with early trails & Indian tribes. Cumming described the map as "profoundly influential."

Guillaume de L'Isle

Guillaume de L'Isle (1675-1426) was the Geographer Royal to both Kings Louis VIX and Louis XV. Of a brilliant and precocious mind, while still only in his 20s, De L'Isle established himself as the leading cartographer in France, then the epicenter of mapmaking in Europe. With his unrivaled access to both official French government and Jesuit sources, De L'Isle was able to devise maps of North America which were dramatically more advanced than any others published to date.


Henri Chatelain Biography

Henri Abraham Chatelain (1684-1743) was a Huguenot pastor of Parisian origins. Chatelain proved a successful businessman, creating lucrative networks in London, The Hague, and then Amsterdam. He is most well known for the Atlas Historique, published in seven volumes between 1705 and 1720. This encyclopedic work was devoted to the history and genealogy of the continents, discussing such topics as geography, cosmography, topography, heraldry, and ethnography. Published thanks to a partnership between Henri, his father, Zacharie, and his younger brother, also Zacharie, the text was contributed to by Nicolas Gueudeville, a French geographer. The maps were by Henri, largely after the work of Guillaume Delisle, and they offered the general reader a window into the emerging world of the eighteenth century.