Dorothy Sloan -- Books

Copyright 2000- by Dorothy Sloan-Rare Books Inc. for all materials on this site. All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.



Cartographic Propaganda—French Pretensions in North America Refuted

California as an Island


Click images or links labeled Enlarge to enlarge. Links labeled Zoom open zoomable images.

344.     [MAP]. MOLL, H[erman]. A New Map of the North Parts of America claimed by France under ye names of Louisiana, Mississipi, Canada and New France with the Adjoyning Territories of England and Spain. A Great Part of this Map is taken from the Original Draughts of Mr. Blackmore, the ingenious Mr. Berisford now residing in Carolina, Capt. Nairn and others never before publishe’d, the South West Part of Louisiana is done after a French Map Published at Paris in 1718, and we gave you here the Division of Bounds according to that Map, which bounds begin 30 Miles S. West from Charles Town in Carolina and run on to ye. Indian Fort Sasquesahanok 30 miles West of Philadelphia &c… The Projection of this Map is call’d Mercator’s And it is laid Down according to the Newest and Most Exact Observations by H. Moll Geographer. 1720 [dedication in strap work above cartouche at left] To Ambrose Philips Esqr. Register to the Prerogative Court this Map is most humbly Dedicated by yor. humble servt. G. Grierson [right of cartouche] N.B. The French Map mention’d in the Title is done by Monsr. Delisle and Publish’d by him at Paris in Iune 1718. which I am ready to shew to any Gentlemen that desires it. Sold by Geo. Grierson Printer to the Kings Most Excellent Majesty, at the Kings Arms and two Bibles in Essex Street Dublin [inset at center right] The Harbour of Anapolis Royal [another inset below] A Map of the Mouth of Mississipi and Mobile Rivers [scale at lower right] A Scale of English Miles for Longitude. Dublin, 1710. Copper-engraved map on two joined sheets of laid paper with original hand coloring of borders to reflect the contested boundaries of North America between France, England, and Spain at the time, some color wash, compass rose, neat line to neat line: 61 x 100 cm; overall sheet size: 64.5 x 102.5 cm. Creased where formerly folded, light marginal staining, slightly darkened along an old fold on left side, upper margin chipped with loss of some parts of neat line and scale supplied in facsimile, lower right margin trimmed with slight loss of neat line (supplied in facsimile), lower left blank margin slightly chipped (no image losses), numerous old paper repairs on verso, overall a good copy, dedication and date lightly overstruck in contemporary ink. Framed, matted, and under Plexiglas.

     The present copy of the map conforms to McLaughlin’s State 2: The Indian Fort Sasquesahanok at upper left has been scrubbed off the plate leaving a blank area; the dedicatee is Ambrose Philips rather than Thomas Bromsall; and the title states: “with the adjoyning Territories” ("the" rather than “ye”). The map was published in The World described, or a new and correct set of maps…engraved in copper by Herman Moll, geographer (London, 1715-1720). Cf. Cumming, British Maps of Colonial America, pp. 10-12. Cf. Cumming, The Southeast in Early Maps, pp. 21-24. Jackson, Shooting the Sun, p. 54: “Herman Moll [was] one of the most flagrant copyists of any era—to the extent that practically all of the interesting features on his maps can be identified on earlier printed maps, if one is diligent enough. But his maps were attractively designed and engraved, and they enjoyed considerable popularity. At least Moll, like De Fer, stole from the best sources available and, in this respect, their works merit study.” Leighly, California as an Island 180. Lowery 303. McLaughlin, The Mapping of California as an Island 197: “Shows southern part of California and Gulf of California, which widens at north.” Phillips, America, p. 567. Phillips, Atlases 554. Cf. Streeter Sale 118 & 119 (lists two issues but not the present one). Pritchard & Taliaferro, Degrees of Latitude: Mapping Colonial America, #21; Figures 18, 98-102, pp. 19-20, 122: “While Moll borrowed some information from Delisle, he also included new data from surveys by Nathaniel Blackmore, Richard Berisford, and Thomas Naire that he cited on the map. Moll directly challenged the boundary lines that Delisle included to mark territory claimed by France.” Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West #105. For more on Moll, see DNB.

     Reinhartz, “Herman Moll, Geographer: An Early Eighteenth-Century European View of the American Southwest,” pp. 32-33 in Reinhartz & Colley, The Mapping of the American Southwest (see also Fig. 2.5 & p. 81, no source listed):

Moll’s mapping of Texas and northern Mexico is both informative and appealing. He was best at coastal geography, depicting with some accuracy the coastal features, barrier islands (e.g., Padre Island), and identified rivers emptying into the Gulf of Mexico. The rivers often continue deep into the interior, where there is less detail, but Moll does indicate various Indian tribes…. But most intriguing are Moll’s notations. For example, he mentions several times the Spanish cattle gone wild—the famous Texas longhorns of later years—by noting “Country full of Beeves” or “This Country has vast and Beautiful Plains, all level and full of Greens, which afford Pasture to an infinite number of Beeves and other Creatures” in East Texas near the “R. Salado.” Nearby also is noted, “Many Nations [of Indians] on ye heads of this Branches [of several rivers] who use Horses and Trade with the French and Spaniards.” Moll, who cannot restrain expressing his opinions in his maps, restores the English claim to the territory east of the Mississippi and gives back part of Florida to Spain; in the Advertisement text, Moll states: All within the Blew Colour of this Map, shows what is Claim’d by France under the Names of LOUISIANA, MISSISSIPI &c. According to a French Map published at Paris with the French King’s Privelege. The Yellow Colour what they allow ye English. The Red, Spain….

     Cumming, The Southeast in Early Maps, pp. 43-44:

Moll calls upon the English noblemen, gentlemen, and merchants interested in Carolina to note the ‘Incroachments’ of the French map on their ‘Properties’ and on the land of their Indian allies. The map presents details of the Southeast found in no other printed map. The chief source of this information is a large, unsigned, undated manuscript map in the Public Record Office, from which Moll took much information on trading paths, Indian tribes, French, Spanish, and English forts and settlements, rivers, and other topographical data.

Publisher George Grierson (1709-1753) dedicated this map to Ambrose Philips (1674-1749), English poet and politician.


Sold. Hammer: $2,600.00; Price Realized: $3,120.00

Auction 22 Abstracts

Click images or links labeled Enlarge to enlarge. Links labeled Zoom open zoomable images.


DSRB Home | e-mail: