Nouvelle Angleterre, Nouvelle York, Nouvelle Jersey. Pensilvanie Mariland et Virginie. Par le Sr. Robert de Vaugondy Fils de Mr. Robert Geog. ordin. du Roi
1749 (dated) 8 x 7 in (20.32 x 17.78 cm)
1 : 5800000
This is a hand colored 1749 Didier Robert de Vaugondy map of the English Colonies in North America, including New England and the Mid-Atlantic colonies, on the cusp of the French and Indian War (1754 – 1763). The organization of the map is significant, with the French controlled Great Lakes dominating the map. The English colonies, which are disproportionally reduced, hug the coast but, save through their alliance with the Iroquois federation, have no access to the Great Lakes. Similarly, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Maryland are limited to lands east of the Appalachian Mountains, reflecting the French claims that would soon lead to war.
The map depicts from Lake Erie and Lake Huron on the left to the Atlantic Ocean on the right and from Lake Huron and New Scotland at the top to North Carolina and Albemarle (Albermale) Bay at the bottom. The map depicts the colonies of New England (Nouvelle Angleterre), New York (Nouvelle Yorck), Pennsylvania (Pennsylvanie), Maryland (Mariland), Virginia (Virginie), and Carolina (Caroline). Louisiana is labeled, which at this point in history was French territory. The Iroquois nation is also depicted.
Numerous American cities are labeled, including Boston, New York (New Yorck), Philadelphia (Philadelphie), and Jamestown. Long Island is labeled, as well as Chesapeake Bay (Baye de Chesapeack). Lake Champlain and Lake Ontario are depicted as well as several rivers.
This map was published by Gilles Robert de Vaugondy in his Atlas Universel, Portatif et Militaire in the 1749 edition.
Gilles (1688 - 1766) and Didier (c. 1723 - 1786) Robert de Vaugondy were map publishers, engravers, and cartographers active in Paris during the mid-18th century. The father and son team were the inheritors to the important Sanson cartographic firm whose stock supplied much of their initial material. Graduating from Sanson's map's Gilles, and more particularly Didier, began to produce their own substantial corpus of work. Vaugondys were well respected for the detail and accuracy of their maps in which they made excellent use of the considerable resources available in 18th century Paris to produce the most accurate and fantasy-free maps possible. The Vaugondys compiled each map based upon their own superior geographic knowledge, scholarly research, the journals of contemporary explorers and missionaries, and direct astronomical observation - moreover, unlike many cartographers of this period, they commonly took pains to reference their source material. Nevertheless, even in 18th century Paris geographical knowledge was severely limited - especially regarding those unexplored portions of the world, including the poles, the Pacific northwest of America, and the interior of Africa and South America. In these areas the Vaugondys, like their rivals De L'Isle and Buache, must be considered speculative geographers. Speculative geography was a genre of mapmaking that evolved in Europe, particularly Paris, in the middle to late 18th century. Cartographers in this genre would fill in unknown areas on their maps with speculations based upon their vast knowledge of cartography, personal geographical theories, and often dubious primary source material gathered by explorers and navigators. This approach, which attempted to use the known to validate the unknown, naturally engendered many rivalries. Vaugondy's feuds with other cartographers, most specifically Phillipe Buache, resulted in numerous conflicting papers being presented before the Academie des Sciences, of which both were members. The era of speculatively cartography effectively ended with the late 18th century explorations of Captain Cook, Jean Francois de Galaup de La Perouse, and George Vancouver.
Robert de Vaugondy, G. Atlas Portatif, Universel, et Militaire (Paris: Vaugondy, Durand, Pissot) 1749.
Very good. Blank on verso. Original press mark visible.
Pedley, M. S., Bel et Utile, p. 213, 468.