Map of Bays, Harbors, and the Port of Placentia by the Island of Newfoundland


This map, Carte des bayes, rades et port de Plaisance dans l'Isle de Terre-Neuve (Map of bays, harbors, and the port of Placentia by the island of Newfoundland), was created by the French cartographer Jacques Nicolas Bellin (1703‒72) in 1755, based in part upon earlier geographic notations compiled by Pierre-François-Xavier de Charlevoix (1682−1761), a French Jesuit priest, historian, and explorer. The map shows the Avalon Peninsula in Newfoundland with the harbors of Placentia and Argentia. It also highlights a battery on Signal Hill above Placentia Road, as well as a fort and village. The map shows shoals and areas of vegetation. Relief is shown by hachures, while water depths are indicated by soundings. Scale is given in toises, an old French unit measuring about 1.95 meters. Bellin had a long career as a hydrographer and geographer for the French Navy. In 1741 he became the French royal hydrographer. His maps of New France, Acadia, and Louisiana are among his most important. Charlevoix was the author of Histoire et description générale de la Nouvelle France avec le Journal historique d'un voyage fait par ordre du roi dans l'Amérique septentrionnale (History and general description of New France with the historical journal of a voyage in North America made by order of the king), which was published in Paris in 1744. The map is from the Rochambeau Collection at the Library of Congress, which consists of 40 manuscript maps, 26 printed maps, and a manuscript atlas that belonged to Jean-Baptiste-Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau (1725‒1807), commander in chief of the French expeditionary army (1780‒82) during the American Revolution. Some of the maps were used by Rochambeau during the war. Dating from 1717 to 1795, the maps cover much of eastern North America, from Newfoundland and Labrador in the north to Haiti in the south. The collection includes maps of cities, maps showing Revolutionary War battles and military campaigns, and early state maps from the 1790s.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information



Title in Original Language

Carte des bayes, rades et port de Plaisance dans l'Isle de Terre-Neuve

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 map ; 18 x 28 centimeters


  • Scale approximately 1:58,500

Last updated: February 18, 2016