The Western part of New France, or Canada, Done by Mr. Bellin, Royal Marine Engineer, in Order to Further Understanding of Present-Day Political Matters in America


This detailed map of the Great Lakes region of western “New France” by Jacques Nicolas Bellin was published by the Heirs of Homan in 1755, shortly before the outbreak of the Seven Years’ War, the conflict that resulted in the transfer of New France to British hands. Bellin was just one representative of a greater movement by French royal and military cartographers in the 18th century to map New France using the knowledge possessed by Native Americans. This map shows details not only of the Canadian waterways, but also of military, trade, and territorial information pertaining to the indigenous populations who lived in the vast territory. As most of this land was uncharted wilderness at the time, the alliance of the French with the Iroquois and Algonquian peoples proved essential to the mapping of sparsely populated or unsettled inland territories. The maps were used by fur trappers, Jesuit missionaries, explorers, and by the military in the final “French and Indian Wars” against the British, a struggle to retain Canada as a French territory that ultimately proved unsuccessful.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Homann Erben, Nürnberg


Title in Original Language

Partie Occidentale de la Nouvelle France ou du Canada par Mr. Bellin, Ingénieur du Roy de la Marine pour Servir à l'Intelligence des Affaires de l'Etat present en Amerique

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 map 43 x 53 centimeters


  • Scale approximately 1:3,500,000

Last updated: February 22, 2016