"Carte de la Louisiane." 1732.
"Amerique Septentrionale." 1746.
Jean Baptiste Bourguignon d’Anville (1697-1782) engraved his first map at age fifteen and produced many maps of high quality throughout his career. He became the finest cartographer of his time and carried on the French school of cartography developed by the Sanson and the de L’Isle families. Although he apparently never left the city of Paris, he had access to the reports and maps of French explorers, traders, and missionaries. During his long career he accumulated a large collection of cartographic materials that has been preserved. He was particularly interested in Asia and produced the first reasonably accurate map of China in 1735.

Anville's maps draw on material gathered from several French expeditions made during the first half of the eighteenth century. At this time the French were intent on finding a trade route to the western Indians and to Santa Fe and also on preempting Spanish expansion into the Mississippi river valleys. Around 1720, Jean Baptiste Bénard de La Harpe undertook two expeditions to explore the Red and Arkansas rivers and part of what is now Oklahoma. At roughly the same time, Claude-Charles du Tisné journeyed by land to the source of the Osage River and explored southeastern Kansas. Maps engraved by Anville incorporated the discoveries of La Harpe and Tisné and significantly improved the geographic knowledge of the Mississppi and Missour river regions.

"Amérique Septrentrionale" depicts a "Grande Rivière" running to the west out of the "Lac des Bois" with a note that it was discovered by an Indian named Ochagac, or Ochagach, a reference to the accounts of La Vérendrye and his sons. The map labels the upper Missouri the "Pekitanoui R." Only the upper half of "Amérique Septentrionale" is exhibited.

Anville also engraved a map entitled "Carte de la Louisiane" in 1732. This map provides an accurate rendition of the lower Mississippi, the Arkansas, the Red, the Osage, and the lower Missouri rivers. Thomas Jefferson bought seven maps by Anville in 1787, and although the titles of the maps he acquired are not known, Jefferson musst have been familiar with Anville's maps of North America, including "Carte de la Louisiane." In a letter to Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin relating to a newly commissioned map of North America, Jefferson discussed the use of Anville as a reference for the lower Mississippi basin. Jefferson may not have owned "Carte de la Louisiane," however, since Meriwether Lewis was still trying to obtain a copy of an Anville map in Philadelphia shortly before starting out on the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

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