MITCHELL, John (1711-68). Amerique Septentrionale avec les Routes Distances en miles, Villages et Etablissements François et Anglois ... Traduit de l' Anglois ... Corigée en 1776 par M. Hawkins, Brigadier des armées du Roi. North America, Paris: le Rouge, 1777. Large hand-coloured engraved map on 8 sheets, elaborate title cartouche of native figures, a palm tree and sugar cane with view of a bay beyond and a standing ship, coat-of-arms, title in French, English and German, inset map of Hudson Bay (some light soiling and browning, trimmed at upper edge and repaired, a few very minor repairs, but with more severe repairs to top of two sheets [nos. 1 and 2 according to printed key on the map] with slight loss), each sheet approximately 655 x 485mm.
A French reprint of Mitchell's "A Map of the British and French Dominions in North America with the Roads, Distances. Limits, and Extent of the Settlements" first published in 1755, and "REGARDED BY MOST AUTHORITIES AS THE MOST IMPORTANT MAP IN THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN CARTOGRAPHY" (Schwartz & Ehrenberg The Mapping of America, p. 159). Mitchell's famous map went through 21 editions and 4 languages between 1755 and 1781, attesting to its importance (for a full list of editions see Map Collectors' Circle No. 39, 1967). Originally designed as a rebuttal to French boundary claims, the map came to be used in peace negotiations between Great Britain and the former American colonies in 1782-3. The date of our copy, in addition to its country of printing, is of obvious significance. As Schwartz and Ehrenberg state, "It is the primary political treaty map in American history ... The map was resorted to in boundary disputes throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and even into the twentieth." cf. Moreland & Bannister p. 171-2; Schwartz & Ehrenberg The Mapping of America, as above, and various references; Tooley The Mapping of America p. 317. Please note: the illustration above is a photo-assemblage of the 8 separate sheets. (8)