Sign In

- Or use -
Forgot Password Create Account

The Great River of the West and Lahontan's Longue River

Scarce second state of De Vaugondy's map of America, pre-dating information from any of the Cook Voyages.

The Northwest Coast of America is shown wildly distorted to the west, with a number of mythical rivers flowing from the Pacific eastward, including the River of the West. The discoveries of Admiral De Font and Martin D'Aguilar are noted.

The illustration of Lahontan's Longue River and the Great River of the West illustrate the last of the remaining concepts for a watercourse extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific.  By this time, Longue River is treated as a northern tributary of the Mississippi River.  The headwaters of the Mississippi River are shown in a way that suggests are short portage to a river system which led first to a Salt Lake 300 leagues long and 30 miles wide, then to a "Grande Riviere coulante a l'ouest" (Great River flowing to the West), with a terminus at the Martin d'Aguilar entry to the Pacific Ocean.

A number of early French and English Forts and trading houses can be seen on the Mississippi River and west of the Great Lakes.

Much of the Southwestern United States is also shown as being traversed by branches of these long rivers, searching for a watercourse to the Mississippi.

Includes Large insets of Martinique and Hispaniola.

Didier Robert de Vaugondy Biography

Didier Robert de Vaugondy (ca. 1723-1786) was the son of prominent geographer Gilles Robert de Vaugondy and Didier carried on his father’s impressive work. Together, they published their best-known work, the Atlas Universel (1757). The atlas took fifteen years to create and was released in a folio and ¾ folio edition; both are rare and highly sought-after today. Together and individually, father and son were known for their exactitude and depth of research.

Like his father, Didier served as geographer to King Louis XV. He was especially recognized for his skills in globe making; for example, a pair of his globes made for the Marquise de Pompadour are today in the collection of the Municipal Museum of Chartres. Didier was also the geographer to the Duke of Lorraine. In 1773, he was appointed royal censor in charge of monitoring the information published in geography texts, navigational tracts, and travel accounts.