“AMERICQUE SEPTENTRIONALE...” Nicolas Sanson. Paris: Henri Abraham Chatelain. Engraved map with folds as issued and later hand-coloring. (McLaughlin, The Mapping of California as an Island, #89, state 2; Burden #545). (Image: 5 3/4 x 6 1/2’’)
This attractive miniature map shows much detail in its depiction of North America. California is shown as an island, a misconception which continued well in to the 18th century. It is similar to other small Sanson maps with the exception that the northern shore of California is more indented, but still sloping upward in the east.
The five Great Lakes, though depicted, are in a much distorted shape and opened to the west. The R. de Nort empties into the Gulf of California from a large interior lake in the country of Los Apaches.
Numerous place names are noted within Nouveau Mexique including Quivira, Santa Fe and Grenade. British colonies are labeled Nouvelle Angleterre and Virginie.
Sanson, the leading 17th century French cartographer, was official mapmaker to Louis XIV. Because of his royal position, Sanson had access to official French records of the explorations in the New World.