"The earliest published map of the trans-Mississippi region which can be said to display even the faintest resemblance to accuracy." - Wagner Camp 3:1
Engraved folding map from the 1805 Lyon edition of Perrin du Lac. The map starts with St. Louis in the east and shows the Missouri River as far as 47 degrees North latitude.
Wagner-Camp says of Perrin du Lac:
Wagner states that the map . . "is the earliest published map of the trans-Mississippi region which can be said to display even the faintest resemblance to accuracy." It shows the tracks of James MacKay (Jacques Machey) to the badlands of western Nebraska in 1796, and from this it can be assumed that a manuscript map of Mackay's (one is known to have existed at the time) became one of Perrin du Lac's sources.
Perrin du Lac describes a trading expedition up the Missouri to the Riviere Blanche (the White River in South Dakota) that left Saint Louis on May 18, 1802, and returned on September 20, 1802. He continues with a long note about the Missouri fur trade and an extensive discussion of the Indians of the Upper Missouri, including the Mandans, Sioux, Gros Ventres, and Cheyennes.
Wheat, Transmississippi West I:256 and page 164:
"His beautifully-executed map was the only published form in which the work of Mackay . . . could be found for upwards of a century"
Perrin du Lac's account was probably published in Lyon before the Paris edition, both of which were in 1805.
Valuable as a detailed treatment of the pre-Lewis and Clark Missouri, and for its extensive listing of Indian villages and place names.