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An Accurate Depiction of New France, 1657.

Library of Congress,


This 1657 map, entitled Novae Franciae Accurata Delineatio (An accurate depiction of New France), is attributed to the Jesuit Francesco Bressani (1612-72), who was sent as a missionary to the Huron Indians in 1642. In 1653 he published in his native Italy an account of his stay in New France in which he announced the impending publication of a map, also based on his time in North America. The map shown here, from the National Library of France, is one of only two known copies of Bressani's map. It represents the Great Lakes region with remarkable accuracy. An inset map at the top center shows the Huron country. The map also contains illustrations related to Bressani's mission and intended for the edification of the faithful. In the lower right is a scene of the martyrdom in 1649 of priests Jean de Bre?beuf and Gabriel Lalemant. In the upper left is a portrait of an Indian family in prayer. Illustrations on the map depict Indian villages, a canoe, animals and hunting, and other scenes. The Dutch and English colonies of New Amsterdam and New England are indicated by their Latin names, Novum Belgium and Nova Anglia. Scale is given in French leagues and Italian miles. The map 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.