This is a beautifully colored example of the first French edition of an important and detailed chart of Delaware Bay and River.
At the time of the Revolution, Fisher's chart was the primary source for navigation to Philadelphia, America's largest City. The chart was originally published in Philadelphia in 1756, but this first edition only included the bay, and did not extend as far upriver as Wilmington and Philadelphia. A second American edition appeared circa 1775, which was modified to include navigation to and beyond Philadelphia. With the advent of the Revolution, William Faden brought out this first English edition in 1776.
The chart ultimately appeared in a total of 7 French and English editions, the Le Rouge being the scarcest. Includes sailing directions, soundings, and marvelous detail on both sides of the Bay and River. Includes a list of the names of the River Pilots and Ship Owners active in the Bay and River. A fascinating early map.
George-Louis Le Rouge (1712-1790), though known for his work in Paris, was originally born Georg Ludwig of Hanover, Germany. He grew up and was educated in Hanover, after which he became a surveyor and military engineer. Around 1740, however, Le Rouge moved to Paris and set up shop as an engraver and publisher on the Rue des Grands Augustins. It was at this time that he changed his name, adopting a French pseudonym that would later become quite famous.
Le Rouge spent much of his forty-year career translating various works from English to French, and his cartographic influence often came from English maps. His experience as a surveyor and engineer in Germany made him a skilled and prolific cartographer, and he produced thousands of charts, maps, atlases, and plans. His work spans from garden views and small-town plans to huge, multiple-continent maps. Le Rouge eventually accepted the position of Geographical Engineer for Louid XV, the King of France.
Later in life, Le Rouge became well-known for publishing North American maps, such as in his Atlas ameriquain septentrional of 1778. One of Le Rouge’s other more famous works is the Franklin/Folger chart of the Gulf Stream, which he worked on with Benjamin Franklin. Franklin and Le Rouge corresponded around 1780 and collaborated to create this map, a French version of Franklin’s famous chart which was originally printed in 1769.