33 results in English
Map of the Gulf Coast from Florida to Mexico
Joan Vinckeboons (1617–70) was a Dutch cartographer and engraver born into a family of artists of Flemish origin. He was employed by the Dutch West India Company and for more than 30 years produced maps for use by Dutch mercantile and military shipping. He was a business partner of Joan Blaeu, one of the most important map and atlas publishers of the day. Vinckeboons drew a series of 200 manuscript maps that were used in the production of atlases, including Blaeu’s Atlas Maior. This pen-and-ink and watercolor map ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Map of the Jefferson Davis Memorial Highway
The National Highways Association (NHA) was established in 1911 to promote the development of an improved national road network in the United States. Under the slogan “Good roads for everyone!” the NHA advocated the building and permanent maintenance by the federal government of a system of 50,000 miles (some 80,500 kilometers) of highways. This map, issued by the NHA in 1916, shows a proposed highway across the southern United States linking Miami and Los Angeles. Tentatively named the Jefferson Davis Memorial Highway, the proposed route was to be ...
Map of the Lone Star Route
The National Highways Association (NHA) was established in 1911 to promote the development of an improved national road network in the United States. Under the slogan “Good roads for everyone!” the NHA advocated the building and permanent maintenance by the federal government of a system of 50,000 miles (some 80,500 kilometers) of highways. This map, issued by the NHA in 1922, shows the proposed Lone Star Route from Chicago, Illinois, to Brownsville, Texas, through the states of Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas. To increase the commercial and ...
Map of the Mississippi Highway
The National Highways Association (NHA) was established in 1911 to promote the development of an improved national road network in the United States. Under the slogan “Good roads for everyone!” the NHA advocated the building and permanent maintenance by the federal government of a system of 50,000 miles (some 80,500 kilometers) of highways. This map, issued by the NHA in 1915, shows the Mississippi Highway, proposed by the Mississippi Highway Association and endorsed by the NHA. The projected route runs from Duluth, Minnesota, to New Orleans, a distance ...
Map of the Canada–Kansas City–Gulf Road
The National Highways Association (NHA) was established in 1911 to promote the development of an improved national road network in the United States. Under the slogan “Good roads for everyone!” the NHA advocated the building and permanent maintenance by the federal government of a system of 50,000 miles of highways. This map, issued by the NHA in 1915, shows the Canada–Kansas City–Gulf Road, proposed by the Canada–Kansas City–Gulf Road Association and endorsed by the NHA. The projected route runs from Duluth, Minnesota, to Cameron, Louisiana ...
Map of Part of the United States Exhibiting the Principal Mail Routes West of the Mississippi River
As the United States expanded toward the Pacific Ocean, few services proved more critical than a functioning postal system. Mail delivery became crucial to new settlers writing home, businesses opening branches in the West that had their main offices in cities in the East, and merchants who needed supplies from industries and factories “back East.” Mail service was also important for government administration and keeping Washington in touch with state and territorial capitals. For a short time in the early 1860s, the Pony Express provided service between Missouri and California ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Map of the Territory of the United States from the Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean
The United States gained vast territories in the West through the Mexican War of 1846−48 and the 1846 Oregon Treaty with Great Britain. By the early 1850s, government and commercial interests were debating the possibilities of building a transcontinental railroad to the Pacific. The Army Appropriations Act of 1853 provided for the completion of railroad surveys to determine possible routes. This map, issued in 1858 by Secretary of War Jefferson Davis, depicts the United States west of the Mississippi on the eve of the Civil War. California and Texas ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Indian Reservations West of the Mississippi River
As the United States expanded westward in the 19th century, white settlers invariably clashed with Native Americans. Possessing entirely different concepts of land use and ownership, whites and Native Americans increasingly came into a conflict. Compounding the problem was the fact that the U.S. Army was the de facto authority in most parts of the American West at this time, especially after the Civil War, and often resolved issues through force. The United States had long regarded most Indian tribes as sovereign entities, with which it negotiated treaties in ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Map of the Trans-Mississippi Territory of the United States During the Period of the American Fur Trade as Conducted from St. Louis between the Years 1807 and 1843
This map, published in 1902 in H.M. Chittenden’s History of the Fur Trade of the Far West, shows major cartographic features of the American West in the early 19th century, including the location of key Native American populations, forts, trading posts, and physical features, such as mountains and rivers. French voyageurs pioneered fur trading and trapping in Canada and the American West before the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, but the basic geography of this vast region was poorly understood before the Lewis and Clark expedition of 1804–6 ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Map of Louisiana, View of New Orleans
The French royal engineer, de Beauvilliers, drew this 1720 map of the entire hydrographic network of the Mississippi River, from the Illinois Country to New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico, and the regions west of the Mississippi, stretching through present-day Texas and into New Mexico. The map was made in Paris, based on the journal of Jean-Baptiste Bénard de la Harpe (1683–1765), “commander on the Red River.” De la Harpe was a French officer, trader, and explorer who explored much of present-day Texas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. He sailed ...
Map of the Western Ocean and Part of Northern America Drawn up to Record the Travels in 1720 of Father Charlevoix of the Society of Jesus in Canada, Louisiana and Saint-Domingue
Pierre-François-Xavier de Charlevoix was a French Jesuit priest who made a voyage to America in 1720−22. He had already taught in Quebec in 1705−9 and then was recalled to France. He departed Rochefort for New France on July 2, 1720, and arrived in Quebec on September 23 of that year. From there, he traveled to Montreal, Ontario, Niagara Falls, and as far as Lake Michigan. He then went down the Mississippi River to New Orleans, where he arrived on January 10, 1722. His vessel the Adour was shipwrecked ...
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 ...
Plan of the Natchez Fort, Blockaded by the French on January 20, 1731, and Destroyed on the 25th of Said Month
This plan by an unknown author shows the site of the Natchez siege of January 1731, which had its origins in disputes between the Natchez and the French colonists over land. The Compagnie d’Occident (Company of the West) had established several tobacco plantations in the environs of Fort Rosalie (close to present-day Natchez, Mississippi), near several Indian villages. On November 28, 1729, the Natchez staged an uprising, the principal cause of which was the attempt by a French commander to relocate an Indian village in order to establish a ...
Map of the Two Natchez Forts Captured in February 1730 by the French, Choctaw, Tunica, Acolapissa, and Houma
This plan shows the site of the two forts captured by the French in February 1730 as part of their response to a massacre by the Natchez late the previous year. The conflict between the French and the Natchez had its origins in disputes over land. The Compagnie d’Occident (later the Compagnie des Indes) had established several tobacco plantations in the environs of Fort Rosalie (close to present-day Natchez, Mississippi), near several Indian villages. On November 28, 1729, the Natchez staged an uprising, the principal cause of which was ...
Trade between the Indians of Mexico and the French at the Port of Mississippi
In the 18th century, French Louisiana covered territory comprising some 20 present-day U.S. states. Explored and named by Robert Cavelier de La Salle in 1682, it was colonized beginning in 1699. In that year, King Louis XIV and his minister, Pontchartrain, ordered Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville, assisted by his brother, Jean Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, to form a permanent settlement at the mouth of the Mississippi in order to counter possible British encroachments. A fort was raised at Biloxi in 1699, then a post at Mobile in ...
Mr. Law, King's Counsel, Controller General of Finances, Inspector General of the Bank and the Company of the Indies
John Law was a Scottish financier and adventurer who was also an authority on banking and the circulation of money. He convinced the regent of France, Philippe d’Orléans, that he could liquidate the French government’s debt by a system of credit based on paper money. In 1716 he launched the Banque générale, which had the authority to issue notes. The following year he founded the Compagnie d’Occident (Company of the West), the capital for which was raised by the sale of 500-livre shares, payable only in ...
Louisiana Squirrel
This hand-colored drawing of 1727 depicts what is said to be a flying squirrel, which is perched on a branch eating a nut. The squirrel was brought to Paris from New Orleans by a Capuchin priest who, after three days, gave it to the queen. According to the note written in pencil at the top of the illustration, the small animal aroused much curiosity and amusement at the French court, where “its favorite thing was to jump onto the ladies’ necks and hide.” The note explains: “He would fly from ...
Taking Possession of Louisiana and the Mississippi River, in the Name of Louis XIVth, by Cavelier de La Salle [From Rouen] on April 9, 1682
This lithograph from the 1870s by Jean-Adolphe Bocquin illustrates the claiming of Louisiana for France by René Robert Cavelier de La Salle, an event that helped to make La Salle one of the heroes of France’s first colonial empire. La Salle was born in Rouen in 1643. Educated at a Jesuit college, he originally intended to enter the priesthood, but in 1666 he left France for Canada, seeking to make his fortune. He obtained a grant of land and worked for a time as a farmer and landlord. With ...
New Travels to the West Indies. Including an Account on the Peoples who Live by the Great Saint Louis River, also Known as the Mississippi River, 1768
Jean-Bernard Bossu (1720–92) was a French soldier and adventurer who in the late 18th century explored large parts of the French colony of Louisiana. He made three extended trips to the New World, in 1751, 1757, and 1760. In 1751 he traveled up the Mississippi River to the lands of the Arkansas Indians, also known as the Quapaw. Bossu wrote extensive letters to the Marquis de l’Estrade about his adventures among the native peoples of the Mississippi Valley, who included not only the Quapaw but also the Illinois ...
Compilation of Rules, Edicts, Declarations and Decisions on Trade, the Justice System and the Police in America’s French Colonies. Including the “Code Noir”
In 1717, French finance minister John Law decided to introduce the importation of slaves into the colony of Louisiana, with the goal of developing the plantation economy in Lower Louisiana. The Compagnie des Indes (Company of the Indies) subsequently obtained the monopoly on economic activity in the region and between 1719 and 1743 imported approximately 6,000 slaves to the colony. To regulate relations between slaves and colonists, the Louisiana Code noir, or slave code, was introduced in 1724. Based largely on the code compiled in 1685 for the French ...
Memoir on Louisiana to be Presented with a Map of This Land to the Sovereign Council of the Navy
Memoire sur la Louisiane (Memoir on Louisiana) is a 23-page handwritten document by the French priest François Le Maire (1575–1658), written for presentation to the sovereign council of the Navy in March 1717, some months before the Compagnie d’Occident (Company of the West) was established with a business monopoly in New France in August of that year. After describing the present state of the young colony (including its geography, ports, natives, and colonists), the author sets forth France’s interests in developing Louisiana and “the most appropriate means ...
Relation, or True Chronicle of what Occurred in the Country of Louisiana for Twenty-two Consecutive Years from the Start of the French Settlement in the Region
André Pénicaut, born around 1680 in La Rochelle, France, was a “carpenter in the construction of royal ships” and an interpreter. This manuscript is his account of the 22 years he spent in Louisiana between 1699 and 1721. Pénicaut first sailed for Louisiana in September 1698 on Le Marin, captained by the Count of Surgères, as part of the expedition led by Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville (1661‒1706), founder of the French colony of Louisiana. Based on his daily notes, Pénicaut’s account is extremely rich, describing in turn ...
The Story of the Chevalier des Grieux and of Manon Lescaut
Histoire du chevalier des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut (Story of the Chevalier des Grieux and of Manon Lescaut), more commonly known as Manon Lescaut, is a novel by the Abbé Prévost (1697‒1763), first published in Paris in 1731. Considered scandalous at the time, it was immediately banned. The novel tells the story of Chevalier des Grieux and his lover, the amoral courtesan Manon Lescaut. Des Grieux is from a noble family, but he forfeits his inheritance when he displeases his father and runs away with Manon. The two ...
History and General Description of New France with the Historical Journal of a Voyage in North America Made by Order of the King
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) is the first general account of French settlements in North America, written by Jesuit priest Pierre-François-Xavier de Charlevoix (1682−1761) and published in Paris in 1744. Charlevoix’s account relies in part on his own knowledge, which he gained while staying in New ...
Historical Memoirs on Louisiana, Including the Most Interesting Events from 1687 to the Present
Mémoires historiques sur la Louisiane: contenant ce qui y est arrivé de plus mémorable depuis l'année 1687 jusqu'à présent (Historical memoirs on Louisiana, including the most interesting events from 1687 to the present) is based on a manuscript text by soldier Jean-François-Benjamin Dumont de Montigny (born 1696) that was completed in France in 1747. The work was compiled and edited by the Abbé Jean-Baptiste Le Mascrier and published in Paris in 1753. Dumont’s original manuscript is preserved in the Newberry Library in Chicago. It narrates the events ...
A Full and Impartial Account of the Company of Mississippi, Otherwise called the French East-India Company. Projected and Settled by Mister Law
John Law was a Scottish financier and adventurer who was also an authority on banking and the circulation of money. He convinced the regent of France, Philippe d’Orléans, that he could liquidate the French government’s debt by a system of credit based on paper money. In 1716 he launched the Banque générale, which had the authority to issue notes. The following year he founded the Compagnie d’Occident (Company of the West), the capital for which was raised by the sale of 500-livre shares, payable only in ...
Senator John Slidell of Louisiana
John Slidell (1793-1871) was a United States senator and a Confederate diplomat, best remembered for his involvement in the Trent affair, which in 1861 nearly brought war between the United States and Great Britain. Slidell was born in New York City into a wealthy merchant family and graduated from Columbia College. He worked for a time in Europe and then as a lawyer in New York. In 1819 he moved to New Orleans, where he married Marie Mathilde Deslonde, from a distinguished French family. Slidell served in the U.S ...
Secretary of the Navy Judah P. Benjamin, Confederate States of America
Judah P. Benjamin (1811−84) was a wealthy lawyer who served as attorney general, secretary of war, and secretary of state in the cabinet of Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy. (In this photograph he is misidentified as secretary of the navy). Born in Saint Thomas, Virgin Islands, he was raised in Charleston, South Carolina, and attended law school at Yale. He practiced law in New Orleans and became a planter who at one point owned 140 slaves. Benjamin was elected to the U.S. Senate from Louisiana in 1852 ...
Brigadier General P.G.T. Beauregard, Confederate States of America
Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard (1818‒93) was a Confederate general in the American Civil War. Born near New Orleans, Louisiana, he graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1838. He served with distinction in the Mexican War (1846‒48). With the outbreak of the Civil War, he resigned his commission in the United States Army and entered the Confederate army. In June 1861 he was given command of the Army of the Potomac and led Confederate forces at the first Battle of Bull Run. At the ...
General Leonidas Polk, Confederate States of America
Leonidas Polk (1806−64) was a Confederate general in the American Civil War. Born in Raleigh, North Carolina, he graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1827. He later left the army for the church, and became the first Episcopal bishop of Louisiana in 1841. With the outbreak of the Civil War, he offered his services to the Confederate army and in June 1861 was made a major general. He commanded troops at the Battles of Belmont and Shiloh and in the unsuccessful southern effort to ...
Ancient Monuments of the Mississippi Valley
Early in the 19th century, as wagon trains streamed into the Ohio and Mississippi valleys, settlers came upon vast numbers of abandoned earthworks that they attributed to a sophisticated race of long-gone mound builders. Giving rise to often-loaded questions about human origins, the mounds and the artifacts found within them became the focus of early American efforts toward a science of archaeology. Ancient Monuments of the Mississippi Valley (1848) was the first major work in the nascent discipline as well as the first publication of the newly established Smithsonian Institution ...
Contributed by Smithsonian Institution
Plan of New Orleans the Capital of Louisiana; With the Disposition of Its Quarters and Canals as They Have Been Traced by Mr. de la Tour in the Year 1720
New Orleans was founded in 1718 by Jean Baptiste le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville, governor of the French colony of Louisiana. Bienville named the town after Philippe, Duke of Orléans, regent for King Louis XV. This map, published in London in 1759 by Thomas Jefferys, displays the focus and symmetry of the town plan, which was designed by or under the direction of Bienville. The “Mr. de la Tour” in the title refers to one of the earliest detailed manuscript plans of the city and denotes Pierre Le Blond de ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Map of Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas
David H. Burr (1803–75) was a surveyor and cartographer, who served as topographer to the United States Post Office Department in 1832–38 and as geographer to the House of Representatives in 1838–47. Under the direction of the postmaster general, Burr compiled information from postmasters throughout the country about transportation routes—post roads, railroads, and canals—and the location of post offices to produce a large set of state and regional maps. Published in 1839 by the prominent London mapmaking firm of John Arrowsmith, Burr’s The American ...
Contributed by Library of Congress