Alternate Text BACK TO GALLERY

Daniel Crouch Rare Books

A General Map of North America

America, during “the first world war” (Churchill)

866 by 910mm (34 by 35.75 inches).


Drawn by “the late John Rocque, topographer to his majesty”, shortly before his death in 1762, this highly detailed map of North America was the most accurate to date, replete with topographical information, and annotations which would have been of considerable use to both the English and the French, as they entered the final stages of the campaign that would be known as the “French and Indian War” in America, an extension of the Seven Years’ War (1756-1763), in Europe. A great global conflict, that Winston Churchill called the “first world war”, which would encompass not only France and England, but also West Africa, the Caribbean, the Philippines, and India. In America, it would involve three great territorial empires: England, France, and the Iroquois Confederacy (an alliance of the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca nations). 

Not only is the title in England and French, but the map is filled with notes locating the settlements, relevant boundaries of the English, French and native American tribes, and often vivid descriptions of the three-way conflict and its ramifications. For example a lengthy account of the decisive raid on Pickawillany, in June of 1752: “The Outaweis [i.e. Odawa] under the pretence of Leave from y.e confederates to hunt on ye South side of Lake Erie, being instigated by the French 1752 fell upon the English Tawixtwie Town where they killed 22 Tawixtwi Warriors [i.e. Twightwees, or Miamis] & one Englishman & carried away 6 Englishmen Prisoners with all the Effects to ye French This insult of ye French with other Captures wich soon followed & no Measure taken to repel them encouraged ye French to establish themselves at Junandat, Presque Isle, mad Creek, Winingo, & Fort du Quesne. The consequence of this incroachment as been ye cause of much blood shed, & their Treachery retorted on themselves, And the Bravery of ye British Fleets & Armies will remind ye French that that in the memorable Year 1760 They lost all Canada”.

“This is an interesting map for the Mississippi Valley and the country to the west, and especially good for what is now Arizona. It shows all the villages named for the Apostles on Rio des Apostres, now called the Gila, and here in its upper reaches called the Hila” (Streeter).

The map also notes the landing place of Christopher Columbus in 1492, the route of the Spanish treasure ships through the islands of the Caribbean, and details of trade winds, and even hurricanes: “Near the Caribee Islands they have Hurricanes usually in July & August the Wind frequently veering and blowing in every direction”.

The work is rare on the open market, with only two examples appearing at auction in the last 30 years.

More Information