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ANONYMOUS, Manuscript Map.
[Echelle de la Lieux Marine de France].
Pen and ink on paper.
c. Early-Mid 18th Century.
19 3/4 x 28 inches sheet, 29 x 37 inches framed.

AN IMPORTANT FRENCH NAVY MANUSCRIPT MAP OF THE ST. LAWRENCE RIVER This is an intricately detailed and elegantly rendered manuscript map of the St. Lawrence River, a large south west-to-north east flowing river in the middle latitudes of North America that connects the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean. It contains four compass roses along with numerous labels (written in French) indicating important geographic and strategic locations.

The map was produced by a member of the French Navy ("Marine de France") as is indicated by a notation at the bottom of the work. The first known European to explore the St. Lawrence River was Jacques Cartier during his second trip to Canada in 1535. Cartier navigated the mighty waterway with the aid of the two sons of an Iroquoian chief named Donnacona. The St. Lawrence received its title due to the fact that Cartier arrived in the estuary on St. Lawrence's feast day. Until the early 1600s, the river served as the primary route for European exploration of the North American interior. Samuel de Champlain was the first to embark on this kind of exploration. The St. Lawrence River continued to be of pivotal importance in the eighteenth century, the century during which this map was commissioned and produced. Indeed, particularly during the mid- to late-eighteenth century France was embroiled in a number of violent conflicts with Great Britain, including the French and Indian War (1754-1763). The French and Indian War constituted the North American chapter of the Seven Years' War, and the St. Lawrence played a crucial strategic role during the entirety of the conflict. The St. Lawrence would play a similarly important role during the American Revolution. Today, the St. Lawrence traverses the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Ontario and forms part of the international boundary between Ontario, Canada, and the U.S. state of New York. This is a superb and utterly unique map of one of the most historically significant rivers in North American history.
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