Catalog Archive
Auction 115, Lot 190

"A Map of Long River and of some others that fall into that small part of ye Great River of Mississippi which is here laid down", Lahontan, Louis Armand

Subject: Colonial Midwest

Period: 1703 (published)

Publication: New Voyages to North America

Color: Black & White

13.3 x 6.6 inches
33.8 x 16.8 cm

One of the most influential, and fanciful, maps in American cartographic history. It purports to show the mythical River Longue flowing from the mountains in the west (Rocky Mts), home to the Gnacsitares Indians, and connecting to the Mississippi River. A number of relatively short portages across the High Mountains to what must be the River of the West are depicted. On the western side of the mountains is another river, presumably flowing into the Pacific. Lahontan's concept was copied by virtually all contemporary cartographers including Senex, Popple, and De l' Isle, thus perpetuating the myth through the 18th century. The map also includes balloon-shaped Lakes Superior and Michigan. This is the scarce first English edition, engraved by Herman Moll, with numerous interesting English text notations.

References: Schwartz & Ehrenberg #81, p. 142; Kershaw #306

Condition: B

Folding as issued. Fine impression on thick paper with large watermark. Binding side trim with 3" tear into map, closed on verso with archival tape. Short fold split with no loss.

Estimate: $1,000 - $1,400

Sold for: $1,200

Closed on 6/21/2006