Paris: Louis Brion de la Tour, 1788.
Copper plate engraving with original hand color. Image measure 15" x 21.5".
This interesting circa 1788 map by Louis Brion de la Tour depicts the United States showing the earliest configuration of the new states. The map extends from L. des Bois (Lake of the Woods) east as far as Newfoundland with the Great Lakes featured in the center. The map was issued following the Treaty of Paris and is among the earliest maps of the new nation of the United States. It includes several Indian tribes west of the Mississippi and identifies early settlements, forts, and Indian villages in New England.
In the western part of North Carolina appears what is perhaps the most unique feature of this map, 'Frankland'. The tentative State of Franklin (part of modern day Tennessee), was created in 1784 as an unrecognized, autonomous state up to 1788.
After North Carolina ceded the western part of its land between the Allegheny Mountains and the Mississippi River to the United States Congress in April 1784, the counties of Washington, Sullivan, Spencer (modern-day Hawkins) and Greene declared independence from North Carolina to avoid Congress from selling these lands to pay some of the War debt. In 1785, a petition for the statehood for 'Frankland' was sent to Congress and the name changes to 'Franklin' to lure support from Benjamin Franklin. Even though the petition failed to pass, the state of franklin survived as an independent nation for four years.
It eventually rejoined North Carolina in 1788 when it came under attack from various Indian tribes. North Carolina would again cede this area to the federal government in 1790, this time for the formation of the Southwest Territory, which would eventually become the state of Tennessee.
This map is in good condition with minor wear along the fold lines and some foxing.
Louis Brion de la Tour (1756-1823) is best known for his 'Atlas General' published in collaboration with Louis Charles Desnos. He held the title of Royal Cartographer to the King of France. This is a nice examples of his work.