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Nice example of Jaillot's map of Hudson's Bay, Canada, the Great Lakes, and the regions then controlled by French Missionaries and Traders.

A number of Forts are located in and around Hudson Bay. These would be the forts recently seized from the English Hudson Bay Company in 1686 and which at the time of the publication of the map were the subject of active conflict between the French and English forces in the region.

Many notes are made throughout the map, which make references to strategic locations. For example, references are made to outposts that were discovered during conflict, or outposts constructed to block access on important rivers. At the time of this map's publishing, which would be printed in multiple editions, the majority of the forts in the area were controlled by the French.


Kershaw (172) states:

This is the first printed map of Canada to indicate the canoe route between the St. Lawrence River and James Bay via the Saguenay River. In addition the two lakes shown at the end of the Nelson River would seem to be the first indication of Lake Winnipeg.

Hudson Bay Company and French Fur Trading Conflicts in the 17th Century

In the 17th century the French had a de facto monopoly on the Canadian fur trade. Two French traders, Pierre-Esprit Radisson and Médard des Groseilliers (Médard de Chouart, Sieur des Groseilliers), Radisson's brother-in-law, learned from the Cree Indians that the best fur country lay north and west of Lake Superior.  They sought French backing for a plan to set up a trading post on Hudson's Bay but were refused. In 1659, without official support, Radisson and Groseilliers set out for the upper Great Lakes basin. A year later they returned with premium furs, evidence of the potential of the Hudson Bay region. Subsequently, they were arrested for trading without a license and fined, and their furs were confiscated.

Radisson and Groseilliers approached a group of English businessmen in Boston, who agreed on the plan's merits but their speculative voyage in 1663 failed when their ship ran into pack ice in Hudson Strait. Colonel George Cartwright learned of the expedition and brought the two to London in 1665, where they gained the sponsorship of Prince Rupert. In 1668 the English expedition acquired two ships, the Nonsuch and the Eaglet, departing on June 5, 1668. Once in James Bay, the expedition established the first fort on Hudson Bay, Charles Fort,  at the mouth of the Rupert River. (It was later known as Rupert House, and developed as the community of present-day Waskaganish, Quebec.)  After a successful trading expedition over the winter of 1668–69, Nonsuch returned to England with the first cargo of fur, which was sold to Thomas Glover, one of London's most prominent furriers.  

The Governor and Company of Adventurers of England Trading into Hudson's Bay was incorporated on May 2, 1670, with a royal charter from King Charles II, graining the company a monopoly over the region drained by all rivers and streams flowing into Hudson Bay in northern Canada. The area was named "Rupert's Land".

The early coastal factory model of the English contrasted with the system of the French, who established an extensive system of inland posts at native villages, and sent traders to live among the tribes of the region, learning their languages and often forming alliances through marriages with indigenous women. In March 1686, the French sent a raiding party under the Chevalier des Troyes to capture the HBC posts along James Bay. The French appointed Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville, who had shown great heroism during the raids, as commander of the company's captured posts. In 1687 an English attempt to resettle Fort Albany failed due to strategic deceptions by d'Iberville. After 1688 England and France were officially at war, and the conflict played out in North America as well. D'Iberville raided Fort Severn in 1690 but did not attempt to raid the well-defended local headquarters at York Factory. In 1693 the HBC recovered Fort Albany; d'Iberville captured York Factory in 1694, but the company recovered it the next year.

In 1697, d'Iberville again commanded a French naval raid on York Factory. On the way to the fort, he defeated three ships of the Royal Navy in the Battle of Hudson's Bay (September 1697), the largest naval battle in the history of the North American Arctic. D'Iberville's depleted French force captured York Factory by laying siege to the fort and pretending to be a much larger army. The French retained all of the outposts except Fort Albany until 1713. (A small French and Indian force attacked Fort Albany again in 1709 during Queen Anne's War but was unsuccessful. The economic consequences of the French possession of these posts for the company were significant; HBC did not pay any dividends for more than 20 years.


State 1: Dated in the top right cartouche "1685".
State 2: Dated in the top right cartouche "1695". No other changes.
State 3: Dated in the top right cartouche "1700". No other changes.

The map is scarce, this being the first time we have had it in over 25 years in business.

A slightly smaller version was published by Jaillot starting in 1696. It is readily differentiable from the present map by its failure to include all of Lake Superior.

Condition Description
Unevenly cut upper margin. Minor toning.
Burden II, 606, state 3 (of 3); Kershaw 172 (third state of 3).
Alexis-Hubert Jaillot Biography

Alexis-Hubert Jaillot (ca. 1632-1712) was one of the most important French cartographers of the seventeenth century. Jaillot traveled to Paris with his brother, Simon, in 1657, hoping to take advantage of Louis XIV's call to the artists and scientists of France to settle and work in Paris. Originally a sculptor, he married the daughter of Nicholas Berey, Jeanne Berey, in 1664, and went into partnership with Nicholas Sanson's sons. Beginning in 1669, he re-engraved and often enlarged many of Sanson's maps, filling in the gap left by the destruction of the Blaeu's printing establishment in 1672.