Detailed map of the Ohio Valley and regions to the East
Nice example of Robert de Vaugondy's map of the northern British colonies, French interests to the north of the Great Lakes, and contested "Black Settlements," including a finely detailed treatment of the newly explored Ohio Valley.
The map examines the course of the Ohio River, from its sources in colonial New York and Pennsylvania to its confluence with the Mississippi River. At the time of the map's first printing, the Ohio River Valley was in the process of becoming a flashpoint for hostilities between the British and French in America, which would shortly thereafter become one of the early battlegrounds of the Seven Years War between France and England and the French & Indian War in America. Already, "F. du Quene" appears on the map. Established in 1754 by the French, Fort Duquesne, at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers, would become an early area of conflict for the frontier interests of Virginian investors in the Ohio Company. This led to an expedition against the French in the region which would launch the career of a young Virginia militia officer named George Washington, who assumed command of the expedition following the death of its original leader, Colonel Joshua Fry.
The map provides exceptional detail throughout, extending to the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers in the west and providing a detailed early look at the regions coveted by French, English and Colonial powers. The Old Northwest and Ohio are dominated by Indian Tribes.
The information used on this map was garnered from indigenous sources immediately prior to the commencement of the French and Indian War. The map is especially noteworthy for its Transappalachian information.
Didier Robert de Vaugondy (ca. 1723-1786) was the son of prominent geographer Gilles Robert de Vaugondy and Didier carried on his father’s impressive work. Together, they published their best-known work, the Atlas Universel (1757). The atlas took fifteen years to create and was released in a folio and ¾ folio edition; both are rare and highly sought-after today. Together and individually, father and son were known for their exactitude and depth of research.
Like his father, Didier served as geographer to King Louis XV. He was especially recognized for his skills in globe making; for example, a pair of his globes made for the Marquise de Pompadour are today in the collection of the Municipal Museum of Chartres. Didier was also the geographer to the Duke of Lorraine. In 1773, he was appointed royal censor in charge of monitoring the information published in geography texts, navigational tracts, and travel accounts.