1757 Homann Heirs Map of Halifax, Quebec City, and Louisbourg, Canada

Vorstellung einiger Gegenden und Plaetze in Nord-America unter Franzoesisch und Englische Jurisdiction gehoerig. - Main View

1757 Homann Heirs Map of Halifax, Quebec City, and Louisbourg, Canada


Stunning map of several important Canadian cities during the French and Indian War.


Vorstellung einiger Gegenden und Plaetze in Nord-America unter Franzoesisch und Englische Jurisdiction gehoerig.
  1757 (undated)     19 x 21 in (48.26 x 53.34 cm)


An attractive 1756 Homann Heirs map of the Canadian cities of Halifax (Nova Scotia), Louisbourg (Nova Scotia) and Quebec City (Quebec) at the outset of the French and Indian War (1756 – 1763). Essentially four maps on one sheet. Homann no doubt issued this map with the intention to take advantage of continental interested in the events of the French and Indian war or, as it was known in Europe, the Seven Years War.

The primary map, occupying the lower two quadrants, illustrates Halifax town and harbor just seven years after being founded by the English in 1749. The map details the entrance to Halifax Harbor, the town, and some of the surrounding countryside. A large inset map, in the lower left quadrant, illustrated the town of Halifax in greater detail with special attention to its defenses and fortifications. These maps feature English text suggesting that Homann Heirs derived the content form English sources.

This is a sharp contract to the to upper maps, of Louisbourg and Quebec, which at this time were still in French control and exhibit French text. The Louisbourg map, occupying the upper left quadrant covers the port, its entrance, and some of the surrounding territory. Louisbourg was the primary French fortress in the region and an essential conquest for control of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. One year after this map was made, in 1858, the British seized Louisbourg and raised its defenses.

The Quebec map, appearing in the upper right quadrant, is heavily focused on the city of Quebec and features considerable detail. The city's impressive fortifications as well as the surrounding farm land are clearly depicted. The block structure of the Basse Ville, or Lower Town is also well illustrated. Quebec was the capital of French North America. It was strategically situated, as this map suggests, on a promontory overlooking the Saint Lawrence River. Considered by many to be impregnable, the British General James Wolfe outsmarted the French commander, the Marquis de Montcalm, to battle on the open field, where he was defeated. The British took control of the city and sealed the fate of French America.


Johann Baptist Homann (March 20, 1664 - July 1, 1724) was the most prominent and prolific map publisher of the 18th century. Homann was born in Oberkammlach, a small town near Kammlach, Bavaria, Germany. As a young man Homann studied in a Jesuit school and nursed ambitions of becoming a Dominican priest before converting to Protestantism in 1687. Following his conversion, Homann moved to Nuremberg and found employment as a notary. Around 1693 Homan briefly relocated to Vienna, where he lived and studied printing and copper plate engraving until 1695. Afterwards he returned to Nuremberg where, in 1702, he founded the commercial publishing firm that would bear his name. In the next five years Homann produced hundreds of maps and developed a distinctive style characterized by heavy detailed engraving, elaborate allegorical cartouche work, and vivid hand color. The Homann firm, due to the lower cost of printing in Germany, was able to undercut the dominant French and Dutch publishing houses while matching the diversity and quality of their output. By 1715 Homann's rising star caught the attention of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles the VI, who appointed him Imperial Cartographer. In the same year he was also appointed a member of the Royal Academy of Sciences in Berlin. Homann's prestigious title came with a number of important advantages including access to the most up to date cartographic information as well as the "Privilege". The Privilege was a type of early copyright offered to a few individuals by the Holy Roman Emperor. Though not as sophisticated as modern copyright legislation, the Privilege did offer a kind of limited protection for several years. Most all J. B. Homann maps printed between 1715 and 1730 bear the inscription "Cum Priviligio" or some variation. Following Homann's death in 1726, the management of the firm passed to his son Johann Christoph Homann (1703 - 1730). J. C. Homann, perhaps realizing that he would not long survive his father, stipulated in his will that the company would be inherited by his two head managers, Johann Georg Ebersberger and Johann Michael Franz, and that it would publish only under the name Homann Heirs. This designation, in various forms (Homannsche Heirs, Heritiers de Homann, Lat Homannianos Herod, Homannschen Erben, etc..) appears on maps from about 1731 onwards. The firm continued to publish maps in ever diminishing quantities until the death of its last owner, Christoph Franz Fembo in 1848.


Very good. Minor verso reinforcement along centerfold.


Boston Public Library, Leventhal Collection, G3404.A1 1756 .H66. Sellers, John R. and Van Ee, Patricia, Maps and Charts of North America, #275. Kershaw, K. A., Early Printed Maps of Canada, #1051. Tooley (Amer) p.214, #134.