A Fine Pre-Lewis & Clark Map of Canada and the Transmississippi West.
Scarce map of Canada and the Transmississippi West, extending west to the Rocky Mountains and the MacKenzier River.
The map is based upon Aaron Arrowsmith's monumental 1804 map of North America, the same map which Lewis & Clark carried with them on their expedition to the Pacific Ocean.
Perhaps the most interesting feature is the depiction of the headwaters of the Missouri River. Here, the map incorporates the reports of Peter Fidler for the Hudson's Bay Company, by including a series of possible river courses to the west, leading to (and prospectively through) the Rocky Mountains. It was this section of the map that provided the best depiction of the prospect of a water route or portage through the Rocky Mountains and to the Pacific.
It was this information derived from Peter Fidler and incorporated by Arrowsmith, along with reports from local Indians encountered on the expedition, which Lewis & Clark relied in choosing their path to the Rocky Mountains.
Many early Indian Tribes are noted, some with interesting names.
The Columbia River is called the Tacuautche Tesse or Columbia River.
The details in Canada are also quite exceptional for such a small map, making use of the reports of Hearne, MacKenzie, and the Hudson Bay Company.
Excellent detail on the Pacific Coast, including a reference to the mythical "Riv. Oregan".
John Pinkerton (1758-1826) was Scottish literary critic, historian, poet, and geographer. From age twelve he educated himself at home in Edinburgh, as his father had declined to send him to university. His father instead apprenticed John to a lawyer, William Aytoun, but the boy did not like the legal profession. In his spare time, the young man wrote poetry and collected Scottish ballads, which he tried to have published. After the death of his father, Pinkerton moved to London in 1781, to be closer to the vibrant literary scene.
Pinkerton’s earliest publications were collections of ballads. However, a fellow critic uncovered that Pinkerton had forged several of the “ancient” poems and published accusations against Pinkerton in the Gentleman’s Magazine. Throughout the 1780s, Pinkerton published poetry, works on numismatics, and historical works. He corresponded with Sir Walter Scott, Horace Walpole, and Edward Gibbon, but most of his friendships ended in acrimony. Pinkerton was a hypochondriac, unorthodox about morality and religion, and a prickly personality who lived with several women during his lifetime, marrying illegally at least once.
After 1800, Pinkerton turned to geographical works. In 1802 he published Modern Geography, a text that was quite popular and translated into French and Italian. In 1808-15, he produced a New Modern Atlas, which was well received, followed by A General Collection of Voyages and Travels (1808-14). Soon after these projects, Pinkerton moved to Paris, where he lived until he died in 1826.