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A Magnificent Example of
“The most important map in American history.”
North America/ American Revolution.
MITCHELL, J./ LE ROUGE, G. [Paris, c. 1783]
Amerique Septentrionale avec les Routes, Distances en miles, Villages et Etablissements . . . Par le Docteur Mitchel . . . A Paris Par le Rouge . . . 1777 . . . Corigee en 1776 par M. Hawkins Brigadier des armees du Roi. .
Printed on eight sheets, joined to form four, each 52 X 19 inches; if completely joined=52 X 76 inches. Original outline & border coloring; fine condition.
An exceptionally fresh, immaculate example of the French edition of a magisterial work that served as the map-of-record of the early United States. In fact, the boundaries of United States were literally drawn into being on copies of the English edition of the map that were used at the Treaty of Paris at the conclusion of the American Revolution. Significantly, this state of the map added an engraved borderline delimiting the newly created United States as agreed upon at the treaty negotiations; it did not appear on the English editions of the map. Hence, we date the map at approximately the year of the signing of the treaty, 1783.
The Mitchell map played a vital role in American history after the Revolution, even as late as the 20th century. It was used in numerous treaty negotiations with both foreign powers and Indian tribes and even hung in the halls of Congress in the early 19th century.
There was no doubt intense interest in the Mitchell map in France during the Revolution and the treaty negotiations that followed, as the numerous issues of the French edition of the map testify. This appears to be an intermediate state between Martin's third edition, fifth impression and third edition, sixth impression. It has the dashed border between the United States and Canada referred to above but not the note to the east of New Hampshire signifying a sixth impression.
Martin, L. Dict. of Amer. Biog. vol. 13, p. 51; A la Carte, pp. 112-13.