A Rare Early Map of the Future Northwest Territory
Important regional map of the Old Northwest Territory, shortly before the Revolutionary War, focusing on the region which would become Wisconsin and Minnesota.
The map appears in Antonio Zatta's Atlante Novissimo, and also as one of 12 sections comprising the Italian edition of John Mitchell's seminal map of North America. The map's scale is similar to the Mitchell, making this one of the largest format depictions of Lake Michigan, Wisconsin and the eastern part of Minnesota on a regional map.
John Mitchell's map of North America was the single most important American map of the 18th century and is the foundation for virtually all boundary disputes and treaties beginning with the French & Indian War. It was drawn from the first available English and Indigenous surveys and includes remarkable detail regarding towns, roads, rivers, mountains and other regional features.
Antonio Zatta (fl. 1757-1797) was a prominent Italian editor, cartographer, and publisher. Little is known about his life beyond his many surviving published works. It is possible that he was born as early as 1722 and lived as late as 1804. He lived in Venice and his work flourished between 1757 and 1797. He is best known for his atlas, Atlante Novissimo (1779-1785), and for his prolific output of prints and books that were both precisely made and aesthetically pleasing. Zatta clearly had a large network from which to draw information; this is how he was able to publish the first glimpse of the islands visited by Captain Cook in the Atlante Novissimo. Zatta also published books of plays and architecture.