Catalog Archive
Auction 194, Lot 64

Hennepin's Influential Map of North America with Contemporary Color

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

Subject: Colonial North America

Period: 1698 (dated)


Color: Hand Color

20.8 x 17.1 inches
52.8 x 43.4 cm
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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. The 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 third state, from his revised travel account published after he settled in the Netherlands. Published in Amsterdam by A. v. Someren.

References: Burden #738; Goss (NA) #47; McCorkle #697.2; McLauglin #124-3; Tooley p. 125 #59; Wagner (NW) #452.

Condition: A

A nice impression with full contemporary color that has been partially refreshed, issued folding and now flattened with a hint of offsetting. Professionally remargined on all sides to accommodate framing.

Estimate: $3,500 - $4,250

Sold for: $4,750

Closed on 9/13/2023