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First Edition. Contemporary hand-color.

First edition (1803) of this detailed work on Louisiana just before its acquisition by the United States in the Louisiana Purchase.

The book was authored Pierre-Louis Berquin Duvallon, who was procureur du roi in Santo-Domingo before the slave uprising. During the revolt, he fled to Baltimore, which was favored by French emigres, because of the city allowed them to bring their slaves. This is in contrast to Louisiana, which prohibited the immigration of slaves from Haiti, fearing that they would transport ideas of rebellion to the slaves in the American south. Berquin Duvallon brought his slave with him to Louisiana and fell afoul of that law.

Streeter (1530) says of the book:

This gives an entertaining and gossipy first-hand picture of life in New Orleans at the turn of the century; its theatrical companies, dances, the high status of medical doctors, gaucheries of the Creoles, and so on. At the end there are general accounts of the natural features of Louisiana, its commerce, and other general subjects. Its two colored maps, one of lower, the other of upper Louisiana to the Falls of St. Anthony are well worth while.

A second edition was published in 1808.


The book includes two maps of La Louisiane, one shows the Mississippi from its juncture with the Red River to its mouth, the other shows the Mississippi from Natchez up to its supposed source in Red Lake, Minnesota. Both maps were engraved by Blondeau.

The map of the upper Mississippi is titled "Carte Reduite de la Haute-Louisiane et Pays Circonvoisins, pour etre adaptee a l'ouvrage intitule Vue de la Colonie Espagnole du Mississipi, &c."

The map of the lower Mississippi is titled "Carte Detaillee de la Basse-Louisiane et Floride Occidentale, pour etre adaptee a l'ouvrage intitule, Vue de la Colonie Espagnole du Mississippi, &c."

Condition Description
Octavo. Expertly bound to style in quarter calf over brown marbled boards, spine in six compartments divided with gilt tooling, red morocco title label in the second "COLONIE | ESPAGNOL | DU | MISSISSIPI". xx, 318, [5], [1], [3, errata] pages. With the errata, not always found. Two engraved folding maps with old hand-color.
Clark I, 79; Howes B-389; Sabin 4962; Streeter Sale 1530.