The French Fur Trading Fort at Mingan
An excellent map of Harbor at Mingan and coastal islands, from Bellin's Petit Atlas Maritime.
The map shows a section of the coast of Quebec, at the mouth of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, just north of the Island of Anticosti, Canada.
The map is based upon a survey conducted by the French Frigate Diane in 1755.
Mingan is the homeland of the Innu people, who utilized the region in the summers to fish for salmon, hunt for whale, have family meetings, and trade with each other. In 1661, the French established the Mingan Seignory, as European settlement increased, as did a fur trade in the region.
In the 19th Century, North West Company and then the Hudson's Bay Company maintained trading posts at Mingan to trade with the Innus.
Jacques-Nicolas Bellin (1703-1772) was among the most important mapmakers of the eighteenth century. In 1721, at only the age of 18, he was appointed Hydrographer to the French Navy. In August 1741, he became the first Ingénieur de la Marine of the Dépôt des cartes et plans de la Marine (the French Hydrographic Office) and was named Official Hydrographer of the French King.
During his term as Official Hydrographer, the Dépôt was the one of the most active centers for the production of sea charts and maps in Europe. Their output included a folio-format sea atlas of France, the Neptune Francois. He also produced a number of sea atlases of the world, including the Atlas Maritime and the Hydrographie Francaise. These gained fame and distinction all over Europe and were republished throughout the eighteenth and even in the nineteenth century.
Bellin also produced smaller format maps such as the 1764 Petit Atlas Maritime, containing 580 finely-detailed charts. He also contributed a number of maps for the 15-volume Histoire Generale des Voyages of Antoine François Prévost.
Bellin set a very high standard of workmanship and accuracy, cementing France's leading role in European cartography and geography during this period. Many of his maps were copied by other mapmakers across the continent.