The Mississippi /
Relief shown pictorially.
Shows trees, animals, and names of the Indian nations.
Pen-and-ink and watercolor; detached from paper and mounted on cloth backing.
"This is the copy of a sketch of the Mississippi River and country, contained in a manuscript map ... has the following title Carte génerale de la France septentrionale, contenant dans la dʹecouverte du pays des Ilinois ... made by the Sieur Jolliet ... our present map ... is one of the first French maps of the Mississippi River ever made, if not the very first one itself."
Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as a raster image.
Includes a discussion of the origin, significance, and contents of the map.
In upper left corner: 229.
In the 17th century, maps took a huge leap forward. Mathematical and astronomical knowledge necessary to make accurate measurements had evolved. English mathematicians had perfected triangulation: navigation and surveying by right-angled triangles. Triangulation allowed navigators to set accurate courses and produced accurate land surveys. Seamen learned to correct their compasses for declination and had determined the existence of annual compass variation. Latitude determination was greatly improved with the John Davis quadrant. The measurement of distance sailed at sea was improved by another English invention, the common log. Longitudinal distance between Europe and Québec was determined by solar and lunar eclipses by the Jesuit Bressani in the 1640s and by Jean Deshayes in 1686. With accurate surveys in Europe, the grid of the modern map began to take shape.