A scarce composite atlas of the French and Indian War

George Louis le Rouge, RECUEIL DES PLANS DE L’AMERIQUE SEPTENTRIONALE. Paris, 1755.
8vo. Engraved title plus 20 engraved maps and plans (2 folding) and 2 folding views on 16 sheets. Later marbled-paper wraps.
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An interesting composite atlas published at the outset of the French and Indian War, likely hurried into print by le Rouge to meet demand for information about events in North America.

The plates primarily depict towns and forts in North America and the Caribbean, but the atlas also includes two smaller-scale maps of Canadian subjects. Most are derived from sources such as Popple, Bellin and other publications by Rouge. Some however, such as the plans of Forts Halifax, Western and Francfort in Maine’s Kennebeck region, may have been based on more exotic models such as engravings by Thomas Johnston in Boston. Each plate of the atlas may be viewed by clicking the links below:

  1. Engraved title
  2. Plan de law Ville de QUEBEC
  3. VUE DE QUEBEC, Capitale du Canada
  4. en AMERIQUE Quebec [and] Louisbourg
  5. Cayenne [with] Ville Marie
  6. Nouvelle Orleans [with] Fort Dauphin
  7. FORT ST. FREDERIC PRES LE LAC CHAMPLAIN [with] NOUVELLE VILLE DE HALIFAX
  8. FORT HALIFAX [with] FORT WESTERN [WITH] FORT FRANCFORT
  9. CHARLES-TOWN Capitale de la Caroline
  10. KINGSTON Capitale de la Jamaique
  11. PORT-ROYAL De Jamaique
  12. CARTE DES BAYES, RADES ET PORT DE PLAISANCE dans l’Isle de Terre-Neuve
  13. PORT ROYAL Appelle aujourd’ par les Anglois ANNAPOLIS ROYAL
  14. VERA CRUZ Dans le Golfe du Mexique
  15. ST. DOMINGO, Capitale de l”isle du meme nom
  16. HAVANE
  17. SAULT DU NIAGARA De 135 pieds de haut

Bibliographic sources list varying collations for this work, with some copies having as many as 19 plates including additional images of Boston and/or Port Royal in Nova Scotia. Conversely, some years ago I handled another copy with almost identical collation but lacking the Sault du Niagara view. There are also copies known bearing the 1755 title page but including later maps and views illustrating events of the American Revolution.

Rouge’s atlas is widely held by institutions but is rare on the market. It should not be confused with his much-more-readily-available Recueil des Fortifications Forts et Ports de Mer de France (1755 and later). That work consists of 89 sheets of plans of French forts and outposts, only three of which have North American content (These three all appear in the present volume.)

References
Howes L267. OCLC 1010257, 41014082 et al., giving numerous holdings in both Europe and North America institutions. American Book Prices Current lists a single, imperfect example sold at auction in 2000. Not in Rare Book Hub, Antique Map Price Record, Rumsey or Streeter.

Condition

Occasional minor foxing and soiling to contents (somewhat more pronounced to title), wraps a bit tattered and chipped, but very good.