Columbus State University Archives

“Carte de la Louisiane et du Cours du Mississippi Dressée . . . Par Guillaume Del’isle.” 1718. In G. Delisle, Atlas, Paris, 1700-62.

Title

“Carte de la Louisiane et du Cours du Mississippi Dressée . . . Par Guillaume Del’isle.” 1718. In G. Delisle, Atlas, Paris, 1700-62.

Description

In the early 18th century, Claude Delisle (1644-1720) and his four sons became the preeminent family of French cartography. The most accomplished was the child prodigy Guillaume Delisle (1675-1726), who served as the chief royal geographer and is considered the first modern scientific cartographer. This map is significant for several reasons. Using the reports of French explorers and his father’s earlier drawings, Guillaume produced the first accurate depiction of the mouth of the Mississippi and the Gulf Coast. This work became the main source for later cartographers dealing with this area. Both the Missouri and the Rio Grande Rivers are shown in a fairly accurate manner but by earlier names. The Missouri, however, is shown as flowing around the northern end of the Rocky Mountains. Meriwether Lewis and William Clark shared that same belief or hope, and some scholars believe that the Delisle’s work was the oldest map consulted by these later explorers. This work also represents an example of political cartography as Delisle greatly circumscribes the extent of English settlement as a means of expanding the French empire. He inaccurately asserts that Charles Town was the failed French outpost Charles Fort from the 1650s. His representation of Carolina does not extend to the Savannah River. In general, this representation of the interior along the East coast is inaccurate. This work was the first to show de Soto’s route through the Southeast. In some of its key points Delisle’s route is very close to the recent reinterpretations of De Soto’s march by archaeologists at the University of Georgia.

(Some information from the text of a University of Virginia Library exhibit.)

Date

1718

Files

Louisiana_Mississippi_1718.jpg

Citation

““Carte de la Louisiane et du Cours du Mississippi Dressée . . . Par Guillaume Del’isle.” 1718. In G. Delisle, Atlas, Paris, 1700-62.,” Columbus State University Archives, accessed November 22, 2017, http://digitalarchives.columbusstate.edu/items/show/41.

Social Bookmarking