29 November 2000
ST. LAWRENCE RIVER - FRENCH SCHOOL. Cours du Fleuve de St. Laurent depuis Son Embouchure jusques à Quebec. 1755.
Manuscript map of the St Lawrence river, ink and wash on paper, on two sheets joined, overall 470 x 1010mm. The map showing the course of the river from Quebec to Anticosti Island, with details of sandbanks and dangerous areas, rocks and small islands, land areas mottled in red and green, principal settlements with town symbols, decorated with four compass roses and rhumblines, title at upper left incorporating scale bar in French leagues, enclosed by an elaborate scrolled cartouche. (Lefthand margin restored, slight wear along fold).
An interesting French survey of the St Lawrence drawn up in the early years of the 'Seven years War' as fighting between Britain and France intensified in North America from 1754. In the period 1754-56 the French held the British advances through its series of strategically placed forts from Quebec down to the Mississippi. The control of the St Lawrence was essential for supply lines to be maintained through to the Great Lakes and beyond. This chart would have been drawn up from local knowledge by the Depot de la Marine. Included in the lot is a working manuscript draft of the St Lawrence at the same scale, ink and wash on paper, similarly annotated, size 370 x 1100mm, probably used by a French Captain for navigation to Quebec. (2)
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