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CARTE GENERALE DU TERRITOIRE D'ORLEANS
Limited Edition Reproduction Giclee.
Numbered over 150.
Carte générale du Territoire d'Orléans comprenant aussi la Floride Occidentale et une portion du Territoire du Mississipi
1806 ; engraving
by Barthélémy Lafon
bequest of Richard Koch
49" wide x 35" high
1" margin between image and edge.
This map of the Territory of Orleans - the future state of Louisiana - appeared in 1806 only three years after the Louisiana Purchase. It provided significant information not available on previous maps and remains one of the earliest comprehensive maps of any state or territory in the United States. At this time the great bulk of the future state's European population was concentrated along rivers including the Mississippi, Red and Ouachita and bayous such as Teche and Lafourche which are notably mapped here. Not yet part of the territory was Floride Occidentale - West Florida - which was a colony of Spain and extended to the Mississippi River to encompass the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain and Baton Rouge. By the time Louisiana became a state in 1812 West Florida had become part of the United States and was incorporated into the new state. The American ownership of the southwestern portion of the territory was still challenged by Spain and as a result the region was hardly explored. Barthélémy Lafon used this essentially blank space on his map for a circle of descriptive text. Born in France in 1765 Lafon arrived in New Orleans in the 1790's where he worked until his death from yellow fever in 1820. He served as deputy surveyor of Orleans Parish providing many detailed surveys of the area, and was a military engineer in the U.S. Army for which he produced a number of plans of forts.
Item # 002639
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