Partie Orientale de la Nouvelle France ou du Canada par Mr. Bellin Ingénieur du Roy et de la Marine
HOMANN HEIRS / J.N. BELLIN
A wonderful example of Bellin’s rare map of the Northeastern coast of America. The map was originally published in François Xavier de Charlevoix's Histoire et description generale de la Nouvelle France in 1744. It has been argued that Charlevoix's history proved exceptionally influential as one of the most comprehensive works on North America predating the Seven Year’s War 1756-63. As such, this map would have been of particular interest to Europeans as it depicted the River and Gulf and the St-Lawrence, the major gateway to France’s North American colonies. Furthermore, it has been argued that “Bellin’s map would remain the chart of record until Samuel Holland’s scientific surveys were published as part of J.F.W. Des Barres’ Atlantic Neptune in 1775-84.”
According to Kershaw, Bellin’s plate would have had many changes incorporated into this 1755 edition. This edition would then later have been sold to Homann Heirs, from which this example is struck, for his Atlas Geographicus Maior. Homann Heirs’ Atlas would have been published in 1759 at the height of the Seven’s Year War and on the eve of some of the most important battles of the conflict, notably the fall of the of Louisbourg in 1758 and Québec in September 1759. The changes that were incorporated into the plate include a redrawing of of the western and southern shores of Lake Champlain as well as changes to the St-Lawrence River, Lake Ontario, Cape Cod, and the addition “Nouvelle York”, Halifax, and la Pointe Riche in the upper west coast of Newfoundland.
As such, Homann Heirs’ updated map of the St-Lawrence would have helped supply public demand for maps of this important and strategic region where the future of European supremacy was being decided.
With British victories in Louisbourg and Quebec, France’s North American Empire crumbled and in its wake remove any European impediment to Westward expansion of Britain’s North American colonies.
(Sources: BLR 38210, Kershaw 690)