Guillaume DE L’ISLE. Carte du Canada ou de la Nouvelle France...1703
DE L’ISLE, Guillaume (1675-1726)
Carte du Canada ou de la Nouvelle France et des Descouveres qui y ont ete faits...1703
Copper plate engraving with original color
First edition, second issue (Tooley 35A)
The definitive map of Canada and the French empire in North America near the end of the reign of Louis XIV. Peace was made between the French and the Iroquois two years earlier, expanding French influence throughout the continent and increasing competition with the British.
Guillaume De Lisle was undoubtedly France's greatest cartographer and was the author of numerous foundational maps of North America. His 1703 map of Canada and New France greatly improved the cartography of the Great Lakes, Hudson's Bay, James Bay and northern Canada. It also broke new ground to the west, including an early reference to the Rocky Mountains, what may have been the Great Salt Lake, and a mythical "Long River" that purportedly connected the Mississippi with the far side of the Rockies. Much of this was conjectural, based on the often-questioned writings of Baron Lohanton, who explored the region in 1688 and wrote a book about his adventures. But such inaccuracies notwithstanding, De L'Isle's map was the finest map available as peace allowed French influence to expand through the region.