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1744 Bellin Map or Plan of New Orleans, Louisiana

NouvelleOrleans3-bellin-1744
$1,000.00
Plan de la Nouvelle-Orleans sur les Manuscrits du Depot des Cartes de la Marine. - Main View
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1744 Bellin Map or Plan of New Orleans, Louisiana

NouvelleOrleans3-bellin-1744

The earliest obtainable map or plan of New Orleans, Louisiana.

SOLD

Title


Plan de la Nouvelle-Orleans sur les Manuscrits du Depot des Cartes de la Marine.
  1744 (undated)     8.5 x 11.5 in (21.59 x 29.21 cm)     1 : 4800

Description


This scarce 1744 map by J. N. Bellin is the earliest obtainable map of New Orleans, Louisiana. Oriented to the east, Bellin's map covers the original settlement of New Orleans along the Mississippi River and inland as far the Fosse plein d'eau (roughly translated: 'Pit full of Water') near modern day Dauphine Street, and from modern day Iberville Street (shown but not named) to modern day Barracks Street (shown but not named). The map shows some 100 buildings with some 18 specifically identified via an alphabetically coded table set just above the map.

There are several editions of this map, although after the first state, distinguishable for the inclusion of the engraver's name in the lower right margin, it is difficult to distinguish specific editions. The preset example most likely dates to a 1745 or 1746 edition. Bellin originally prepared this map to illustrate Pierre Fran├žois Xavier de Charlevoix's Histoire et description generale de la Nouvelle France. Later editions, most with slight modifications, were issued to accompany Provost's Histoire des Voyages and reissues of Charlevoix.

Charlevoix's history and this map in particular thus proved exceptionally influential as one of the most comprehensive works on North America predating the French and Indian War. Copies of the Histoire et description generale were to be found in the libraries of many 18th century luminaries, including Voltaire, Franklin, and Jefferson. Jefferson especially admired Charlevoix work, calling it 'a particularly useful species of reading' and no doubt influenced his decision to pursue the historic 1802 Louisiana Purchase, possibly the most significant event in the post-colonial history of North America.

Cartographer


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