Item #3397 Amerique Septentrionalis Carte d'un trés grand Pays entre le Nouveau Mexique et la Mer Glaciale. Louis de Hennepin.

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Amerique Septentrionalis Carte d'un trés grand Pays entre le Nouveau Mexique et la Mer Glaciale.

Leiden: Peter van der Aa, 1704. Copperplate engraving, 17” x 20.75” plus margins. CONDITION: Very good, strong impression, expert extension of top margin, a few small pinholes.

The fourth state of this captivating map of North America, from Hennepin’s Voyage Curieux, published at Leiden in 1704. The map was first appeared in 1697, in Nouvelle Decouverte d'un Tres Grand Pays, the earlier title for Voyage Curieux.

The map depicts North America—showing California as an island—Central America, and the upper third of South America. An inset view of Asia appears in the upper left corner. The representation of the eastern portion of North America, the Arctic regions, and the Great Lakes, is fairly conventional, although as Burden points out “Lake Erie is a rather curious shape.” The depiction of the Mississippi River is based on Coronelli and those who followed him, with the significant addition of the Missouri River, although its mouth, shown above the outlet of the Illinois River, appears to be confused with that of the Des Moines River. The inclusion of the Missouri derives from the account of explorers Louis Jolliet and Jacques Marquette, who noted “there are many Villages of savages along this river…” These are referenced by two dwellings shown near the mouth of the river, identified as those of “Massourites.”  

There are four states of the map with four different imprints: Chez G. Broedelet a Utreght; Chez C. Specht a Utreght; A. v.Someren, a Amsterdam; and Chez Pierre van der Aa a Leiden. Significant alterations were made to the plate, beginning with Specht. These include the addition of “Amerique Septentrionalis” to the title, the enlargement of the smaller cartouche to include a list of Spanish, French, and English possessions, the naming of the Missouri River, the naming of two new regions in the west “Apaches de Navajo” and Apaches de Xila,” the addition of the shipping route to the New World, and perhaps most notably (and regressively), the depiction of California as an island (in the first state it is connected to the continent).

Father Louis Hennepin (1626–1704) of the Spanish Netherlands was a Roman Catholic priest and missionary of the Franciscan Recollet order, who was stationed—at the behest of Louis XIV—in French Canada beginning in 1675. He preached in Quebec and founded a convent at Fort Frontenac in 1676. Three years after his arrival in French Canada, Hennepin embarked on an expedition— spearheaded by his fellow missionary and provincial superior Sieur de La Salle—through the Great Lakes via the 45-ton barque Le Griffon, and on to the Mississippi River. In January 1680, Hennepin was present with La Salle at the construction of Fort Crevecoeur on the Illinois River, proximate to present-day Peoria, Illinois. Following La Salle's departure from the expedition (to procure funds to extend the journey), Hennepin ascended the Mississippi toward present-day Minnesota—venturing farther northwest than any other European explorer up to that time. After sailing up the river, Hennepin was captured by a sizable war party of Sioux Indians, who brought him and his two men to their own territory, where they became the first Europeans to see the great cataracts he would name Saint Anthony Falls, identified on this map as “Saut de St. Anthoine de Padoue.” LaSalle would eventually descend the Mississippi and reach the Gulf of Mexico (without Hennepin), claiming the vast region he traversed for France and naming it Louisiana.

REFERENCES: Burden 738; Goss 47; McCorkle 697.2; McLaughlin, California As An Island, #124.

Item #3397

Price: $3,250.00

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