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1779 Map of Georgia

The 1779 map of Georgia remains unattributed to a specific cartographer, but it has considerable similarities to a map published just one year later by Bew, called A new and accurate map of the chief parts of south Carolina and Georgia. Native American Research This map is important for Muskogee and Cherokee research as it details the locations of many Indian towns and Indian Trails. One can determine by looking at the Indian towns on the map that there was little known by this cartographer concerning the interior of Georgia from the Atlantic coast to the Flint River. While he was able to identify known waterways and trails, he has minimal knowledge of Native villages, whether settled or not. However, he does show two distinct area of settlement. One is in the North Carolina mountains and the other is along the southern portion of the Gr. Flint River (which is actually the Chattahoochee...

1640 Virginiae et Floridae Map

The Kingdom of France continued to claim what is now Georgia and South Carolina even though there is no record of any French settlements in the region after 1568.  By issuing this map, the King of France also recognized the legitimacy of the Virginia Colony.  The coat of arms of Great Britain are placed upon that section of North America.  By this time, France had also established permanent settlements in Quebec and was claiming all of present day Canada, except for Newfoundland. This map is the first one to provide an accurate description of the South Atlantic Coast.  It includes the Virginia Colony, and the various tribes living around the Chesapeake Bay.  The Altamaha River is named the May River.  The St. Marys River is named the Dolphin River.  The village of Seloy, where the Spanish set up a base camp before attacking Fort Caroline, is in present day Camden County, GA near St. Marys. This is also the first map to correctly show the St. Marys River originating in the Okefenokee...

1718 de L’Isle Map

In 1718 Guillaume de L’Isle published “Carte de la Louisiane” which was based on the 1703 maps “Carte de Mexique et de la Floride” and “Carte du Canada ou de la Nouvelle France,” credited to him, but actually done by his father, Claude. The 1703 maps were based on the explorations of Marquette, Joliet, La Salle, LeSueur, and others. These maps depicted the Missouri River extending as far as the country of the Omaha Indians, the “Rivière Longue” of Lahontan, the full course of the Mississippi River and, for the first time, an accurate representation of the mouth of the Mississippi River and its delta. The 1718 map shows an improved “Missouri R.,” which de L’Isle also labels “R. de Pekitanoni,” after Marquette’s name for the river. This map, however, does not include the excellent detail of the lower Missouri shown in another untitled map by Guillaume de L’Isle, also published in 1718, which was based on the 1714 explorations of Bourgmont. Nonetheless, “Carte de la Louisiane” does incorporate other information from Bourgmont and also from Father Jakob Le Maire and Sieur Vermale. De L’Isle’s map represents a tributary of the Missouri very close to the course of the Rio Grande (“Rio del Norte”). An extension of the upper Missouri–“Riv. Large”–runs to the west and around the northern edge of a chain of mountains; this “Riv. Large” may have been based on Lahontan’s mythic Long River. De L’Isle depicts a “Chemin des Voyageurs,” or trading route, from the Mississippi River to the lands of the Omaha Indians near the Missouri River. “Carte de la Louisiane” was the first printed...

De Bry’s Map of 1561

A map of extraordinary rarity and seminal importance, this is one of the earliest and most influential maps of the American southeast ever published. Drawn by the French artist Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues c. 1565 and published by Theodore de Bry in 1591, this magnificent map details the Florida peninsula and Carolina coast from Cuba to the Bahamas, to “Prom Terra flag” or, as it is known today, Cape Lookout near Beaufort, North Carolina. The fascinating story of this map begins with the ambitions of the influential Huguenot Admiral Gaspard de Coligny. De Coligny, desirous of a French foothold on the American mainland sent the talented navigator Jean Ribaut to establish a colony. In 1562 Ribaut landed near the mouth of the St. John River, which he named F. Maij after the month in which he landed. Ribaut and his crew then sailed north along the coast until they discovered a large bay which they named Port Royal. Here they landed and established Charlefort after King Charles IX of France. This is the first mention of Port Royal on any map and is, along with Prom. Canaueral (Cape Canaveral), the only two sites in Florida to retain their French names through the following centuries of Spanish and English dominance. Having successfully established Charlefort, Ribaut returned to France to bring additional settlers and supplies. There he discovered his homeland to be in the midst of a religious war between the Catholic house of Valois and the Huegonot house of Bourbon, with whom he was associated. The conflict took Ribaut to England where involvement in a political plot saw him...

Sewall’s Map of Minnesota, 1857

Sewall’s Map of Minnesota was entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1857, by J. S. Sewall. The map provides insight into the 19th century topographical history of Minnesota and Wisconsin, along with pinpointing the location of several Native American villages of the Chippewa and Sioux. The map was prepared for the purpose of land sales and the construction of the Lake Superior and Mississippi Railroad which was to be completed by June 1870. The map is extremely detailed for such an early creation, and includes natural and man-made creations such as waterways, roads, railroads, and reservations. A large proportion of the map is also gridded showing the surveyed sections of the state at that time, especially the southern and eastern portion....

1755 Mitchell Map

In 1755 John Mitchell produced a large map of what was known at that time of the Map of the British and French Dominions. Produced in 8 sheets, this map when laid out covered a space roughly equal to 6.5ft by 4.5 ft. John Mitchell created this map by researching and looking at previously published maps and manuscripts. While fraught with obvious bias towards English imperial claims to America, by minimizing the claims of the French and Spanish, this map has still reached notoriety in it’s authenticity and accuracy… The maps greatest reference was when it was used to set the boundaries in the peace treaty that ended the American Revolution. Map Transcription After the first drawing of this map in 1750, it was again corrected and improved, before it was published, and I have since ta ken Care to procure & examine all the information I could get, in order to render it as correct & usefull as possible; which has given occasion to this Second Edition of it, in which I have likewise inserted all the Observations I believe we have for the Geography of N. America, since I find them grossly misrepresented by others. The Foundation of this Map is the several Manuscript Maps, Charts & Surveys that have been lately made of our Colonies, which represent most Places from the Ocean to the Missisipi. But in order to know the true Situation of those Places, we must have their Latitudes & Longitudes, which are of more Consequence in a general Map, than their bare Shape or Figure, which we only find represented in our Draughts...

The Authenticity and Accuracy of Champlain’s 1632 Map

In order to account for the many manifest discrepancies between Champlain’s text of 1619 and the map annexed to the edition of 1632, I suggested that the map and the latter edition were not the work of Champlain and never passed under his personal supervision. I gave my reasons for this opinion on pages 5 and 6, vol. I, of this magazine. Dr. Shea replies to this, ” the map is evidently Champlain’s, and he was too good a hydrographer for us to reject his map as a guide for parts he actually visited.” This, however, is assuming the authenticity of the map, the very point in issue, without noticing the objections I advanced. If the map were actually constructed by Champlain, it is of course competent evidence, without however being conclusive where it differs from the text. It is not possible, however, to reconcile the two. Where they disagree, one or the other must yield, and in accordance with well-settled rules of evidence, the text must govern. The most competent critics, who have examined the edition of 1632, to which alone the map is annexed, including Laverdière, Margry and Harrisse, agree that it bears internal evidence of having been compiled, by a foreign hand, from the various editions previously published. No map accompanied the original narrative of the expedition, published in 1619. I claim that by inspection and comparison with reliable topographical maps of the country traversed by Champlain, no ingenuity can torture the dotted line on the chart into an accurate representation of the route he pursued, as described in his text. The discrepancies will be indicated,...

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