Map of the City of New Orleans as it was on May 30, 1725


New Orleans was founded in 1718 by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville and named in honor of the regent of France, Philippe d’Orléans (1674–1723), who awarded the monopoly to exploit the adjacent colony to John Law and the Compagnie d’Occident (Company of the West). Located on the Mississippi River, near where it flows into the Gulf of Mexico, the town became the capital of Louisiana in 1722. This map by an unknown cartographer shows how it appeared in 1725. Built on a uniform, rectangular grid system, the town was protected by a narrow retaining wall and had a place d’armes (public square) that opened onto the river. Many of the buildings were for colonial administration (such as government offices, the intendancy, the prison, and military barracks) and religious functions (church, presbytery, and hospital), but the town also included many company buildings, as indicated in the legend. In the lower left, just outside the town wall, the house and property belonging to the Sieur de Bienville, who was several times governor of Louisiana, are shown. Scale on the map is given in toises; one toise equals about 1.95 meters. The map has a compass rose and drawings of ships and boats in the harbor. It is from the collection of the geographer Jean-Baptiste Bourguignon d'Anville (1697–1782). It was given to King Louis XVI in 1782 and deposited in the National Library of France in 1924.

Date Created

Subject Date


Title in Original Language

Plan de la ville de la Nouvelle Orléans en l'état quelle étoit le 30 may 1725

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 map : manuscript ; 44.5 x 64 centimeters

Last updated: January 8, 2018