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Description

The First Printed Map of Lake Champlain -- Based Upon French Manuscript Sources

Finely executed pair of maps covering Lake Champlain and the St. Lawrence River, from Quebec to Montreal, etc. published in Bellin's Petit Atlas Maritime.

The map of Lake Champlain is of particular note.  Based upon French manuscript maps from the 1750s, this is the prevailing configuration of Lake Champlain until the end of the French & Indian War.  

At the time of its issuance in 1764, Brassier had completed his survey work and prepared a more accurate manuscript map of Lake Champlain, but this map would not be published by the British until 1776, making the Bellin map the most accurate and detailed printed map of the region until the outset of the American Revolution.

Jacques Nicolas Bellin Biography

Jacques-Nicolas Bellin (1703-1772) was among the most important mapmakers of the eighteenth century. In 1721, at age 18, he was appointed hydrographer (chief cartographer) to the French Navy. In August 1741, he became the first Ingénieur de la Marine of the Depot 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 Depot was the single most active center for the production of sea charts and maps, including a large folio format sea-chart of France, the Neptune Francois. He also produced a number of sea-atlases of the world, e.g., the Atlas Maritime and the Hydrographie Francaise. These gained fame, distinction, and respect all over Europe and were republished throughout the 18th and even in the succeeding century.

Bellin also came out with smaller format maps such as the 1764 Petit Atlas Maritime, containing 580 finely detailed charts. He also contributed many of the maps for Bellin and contributed a number of maps to the 15-volume Histoire Generale des Voyages of Antoine François Prévost or simply known l'Abbe Prevost.

Bellin set a very high standard of workmanship and accuracy, thus gaining for France a leading role in European cartography and geography. Many of his maps were copied by other mapmakers of Europe.