HENNEPIN, LOUIS. Description de la Louisiane. Folding map. 12mo, modern calf in period style; minor edge wear to title page, minor foxing and finger-soiling, repaired tear to leaf Z7, map with a pair of 2-inch repaired tears and slight wear to fore-edge affecting neatline. Paris: Sebastien Huré, 1683
Estimate $30,000 - 40,000
first edition of Hennepin's first and finest work. Hennepin was a Belgian missionary who accompanied La Salle to Niagara, Green Bay, and Fort Crêvecoeur in modern Illinois, then explored the northern reaches of the Mississippi River on his own as far as the present site of Minneapolis, where he was captured by the Sioux for four months. This is the first published account of La Salle's Illinois trip, and the first substantial eyewitness account of Niagara Falls. The map, titled "Carte de la Nouvelle France et de la Louisiane nouvellement decouverte," was the first to accurately hypothesize the route of the Mississippi River (here called "Re. Colbert"), with a dotted line connecting the known upper portion of the river with the future location of New Orleans. It was the first original French effort to map the trans-Mississippi west, and the first to describe the territory as La Louisiane. Dow, Niagara Falls page 23; European Americana 683/96; Graff 1858; Greenly 8; Howes H415 ("c"); Sabin 31347; Schwartz & Ehrenberg, page 130; Streeter sale I:102; Vail 222; Wheat, Transmississippi West 62 and pages I:49-50.