Nice example of the rare 1702 first state of De Fer's map of the United States and Canada, from his Atlas Curieux.
The course of the Mississippi is virtually due north, originating in Texas and extending into Canada. The many rivers which feed the Mississippi are described and often annotated, most notably the Ohio ou Bell Riviere, which starts far south of its true origins and the Oubache River. The extent of Canada ou Nouvelle France is extended far to the south and the size of the English Colonies substantially reduced, undoubtedly a political statement.
Notes on early explorations, forts, rivers and Indian tribes abound in this marvelous work, engraved by van Loon.
Nicholas de Fer (1646-1720) was the son of a map seller, Antoine de Fer, and grew to be one of the most well-known mapmakers in France in the seventeenth century. He was apprenticed at twelve years old to Louis Spirinx, an engraver. When his father died in 1673, Nicholas helped his mother run the business until 1687, when he became the sole proprietor.
His earliest known work is a map of the Canal of Languedoc in 1669, while some of his earliest engravings are in the revised edition of Methode pour Apprendre Facilement la Geographie (1685). In 1697, he published his first world atlas. Perhaps his most famous map is his wall map of America, published in 1698, with its celebrated beaver scene (engraved by Hendrick van Loon, designed by Nicolas Guerard). After his death in 1720, the business passed to his sons-in-law, Guillaume Danet and Jacques-Francois Benard.