Auction 128, Lot 214

"Carte Generale des Etats de Virginie, Maryland, Delaware, Pensilvanie, Nouveau-Jersey, New-York, Connecticut et Isle de Rhodes Ainsi que des Lacs Erie, Ontario, et Champlain…", Crevecoeur, Michel Guillaume De

Subject: Eastern United States

Period: 1787 (published)

Publication: Lettres d'un Cultivateur Ameriquain

Color: Black & White

25.5 x 19 inches
64.8 x 48.3 cm

This is an updated French edition of Evans' rare and important "A General Map of the Middle British Colonies, in America: viz. Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pensilvania, New Jersey, New-York, Connecticut and Rhode Island…" first published in 1755 (McCorkle 755.15). It was produced for St. John de Crevecoeur's book and includes some additions in New England, but fewer than the extensive additions of Pownall's 1776 reissue, according to McCorkle. Schwartz calls this map "the most ambitious performance of its kind undertaken in America up to that time" and McCorkle calls Evans' map "one of the most important maps made in the colonial period." This edition has a plain text title unlike Evans who uses a decorative cartouche, and the dedication cartouche at upper left is here replaced by a distance scale and blank space.

Highly detailed, the map covers the frontier, not just the better known populated areas of the states. It extends to include Lakes Ontario and Erie, and the St. Lawrence River to Montreal. The map randomly uses French or English for the scores of place names, while most notations and the legend are in English. A large inset at upper left "Esquis se duresse de la Riviere de l'Ohio" shows the course of the Ohio River to the Mississippi up to Lakes Michigan and Huron. The French had better knowledge of the Great Lakes area as evidenced by additions on this map not found on the original Evans. For example, the Portage of Chikago, Fort Erie, and St. Louis are here shown. Also the Niagara River valley contains more detail of the watershed in the region. Kentucky is erroneously named as a state, but will not become one for another five years. There are early references to important cities as well; Louisville, and Leestown, which was the first Anglo-American settlement on the north side of the Kentucky River and is now part of Frankfort. The map names Indian tribes and a legend explains their status: Extinct; Nearly extinct; and those that are "Still considerable." A very rare and seldom seen issue.

References: McCorkle #787.6; cf Schwartz/Ehrenberg, p.162, pl. 98.

Condition: B

Fine, dark impression on thick paper with original margins. Folding as issued. A few areas of scattered foxing with no other flaws.

Estimate: $1,000 - $1,400

Sold for: $750

Closed on 5/20/2009