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    Henri Joutel, Journal Historique du Dernier Voyage que feu M. de la Sale fit Dans le Golfe de Mexique...
    (Paris: Robinot, 1713.) 12mo., xxiv, 386pp., folding engraved map: Carta Nouvelle de la Louisiane et de la Riviere de Missisipi..., 14.25" x 14". Map scale not stated, title engraved on illustration of two Native Americans holding a buffalo skin with head attached at lower left, illustration of Niagara Falls, map adorned with ships, sea battle, and buffalo, compass rose. Large key to locations and events (including La Salle in Texas) at right. Full contemporary calf binding, neatly rebacked; raised gilt spine, with corners renewed. Very light and even age-toning throughout, else near fine. The map, which remains firmly attached to the book block, rates fine.

    Jackson, Flags along the Coast, p. 124 (illustrated) & p. 123: "Before leaving the subject of the influence of Delisle's Carte du Mexique, the map which appeared in Henri Joutel's Journal historique (1713) should be mentioned. This Carta Nouvelle de la Louisiane -- like Delisle's map -- has the Mississippi in mid-continent, emptying into the Gulf just west of the old bay off Espiritu Santo. Joutel's map shows the bay quite large, but even larger is his 'Baye de St. Louis.' Moreover, Joutel gives a detailed account of French exploration within Texas, keyed to letters on the map. Thus, this map represents a transition to the type of information that Delisle depicted on his 1718 map of Louisiana."

    Joutel acted as La Salle's second-in-command on the ill-fated expedition of 1684-1687 to establish a French colony at the mouth of the Mississippi River. In 1682 La Salle first went down the Mississippi to its delta, formally claiming the territory for France. He named the territory Louisiana. Two years later he returned from France to found a colony there, but missed his mark and landed farther west, at Matagorda Bay on the Texas coast. The expedition was plagued by misfortune from the start, and eventually La Salle was murdered by his own men. Joutel and a few survivors would make their way across Texas to the Red and Arkansas Rivers, up the Mississippi to Fort St. Louis on the Illinois River, and from there to Quebec via the Great Lakes.

    This book is an early work on the east Texas region; documenting the French incursion there. Although short-lived, the French effort represents the first European settlement attempted in the area. The handsome map illustrates the journey of La Salle's ill-fated expedition and presents a relatively accurate delineation of the Mississippi River and eastern Texas that would serve as a foundation for future cartographers.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2007
    1st-3rd Saturday-Monday
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