Catalog Archive
Auction 156, Lot 82

Hennepin's Influential Map of North America

"Amerique Septentrionalis Carte d'un Tres Grand Pays Entre le Nouveau Mexique et la Mer Glaciale...", Hennepin, Louis de (Fr.)

Subject: North America

Period: 1698 (dated)


Color: Hand Color

20.7 x 17 inches
52.6 x 43.2 cm

Louis de Hennepin, a Franciscan missionary, accompanied LaSalle in the explorations of the Upper Mississippi. After LaSalle returned for additional supplies, Hennepin and his party were captured by Sioux Indians. While traveling with the Indians, Hennepin discovered the falls where Minneapolis now stands, and named them St. Anthony Falls, in honor of his patron saint. Rescued in 1681 by Sieur du Luth (Duluth), Hennepin returned to Europe where he published accounts of his journey with some embellishments, including a claim that he explored the Mississippi to its mouth. Despite this claim being discredited, his maps are still important for their depiction of the Great Lakes region. This handsome map depicts the island of California on the Sanson model. The Mississippi River nearly bisects the continent and empties into the Gulf of Mexico too far to the west. There are several spurious rivers in the west including the R. de Tecon that has its headwaters in same mountains as the R. Massourite (Missouri) and flows along a mountain range noted as the location of the mythical Cibola. An inset features a large landmass, Terre de Iesso, that spans the region between Asia and North America. The map is embellished with a decorative title cartouche dedicated to William III of Britain, which is balanced with a decorative key listing the European possessions. This example is the second state with the imprint of C. Specht.

References: Burden #738; Goss (NA) #47; McCorkle #697.2; McLauglin #124-2; Tooley p. 125 #59; Wagner (NW) #452.

Condition: B+

A crisp impression with full original color, minor toning along the centerfold, and a professionally repaired centerfold separation that just enters the map border at bottom. There are several small stains confined to the blank margins, and remnants of hinge tape on verso.

Estimate: $3,250 - $4,000

Sold for: $2,400

Closed on 2/17/2016