An important map from Jefferys’ The American Atlas, the most important 18th century atlas for America.
The St. Lawrence was a highway for the French along which flowed an increasing volume of trade, and accurate charts were an essential. In 1702, Jean Deshayes carried out an exhaustive survey and the resulting map became the standard until it was superseded by the British Royal Naval surveys of the later 18th century, by James Cook and others.
For the present work Jefferys translated the notes on Deshayes’ chart into English, and updated the mapping of the area between Lake Ontario to Quebec (for this he used J.B.B. D’Anville’s 1755 map of Canada). The result is clearly a sailing chart, with a variety of aids to navigation, including: depth soundings, rhumb lines, notes, and coastal profiles.
The main part of the map depicts the river from Anticosti Island to Quebec, and it is flanked, above and below, by a number of insets (one based on D’Anville’s map, and four others depicting important stretches of the river with greater detail).
The present reissue appeared in Jefferys’ The American Atlas, the publication of which was prompted by the growing tensions between the British government and its colonies. The importance of the St. Lawrence River was well-understood as the main conduit for trade to and from the prosperous Canadian settlements, and a map of the river would have been expected and appreciated in an atlas that claimed to include maps and charts of the areas where conflict with the colonists was likely.
The inset maps inlcude:
The Seven Islands
A Continuation of the River from Quebec to Lake Ontario taken from the Original Published at Paris by Mr. D’Anville in 1755
St. Nicholas or English Harbor
A View of the Lands from Cape Torment to the Butt
The Traverse or Passage from Cape Torment into the South Channel of Orleans Island
The Road of Tadousac