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QUEBEC – GASPÉSIE: MAP OF THE COUNTIES OF GASPE AND BONAVENTURE, EXHIBITING THE LANDS ADJUDICATED, UNSERVEYED, CLERGY RESERVES, &C. &C. &C.
Lithograph, mounted upon original limp linen (Very Good, some minor wear along original folds, some light areas of toning, overall a fine example), 68 x 121 cm (26.5 x 47.5 inches). - Toronto: MacLear & Co. Lithographers, 1857. An important, gargantuan map of Quebec’s Gaspé Peninsula, predicated on the surveys of the Bahamian-born cartographer Gerald George Dunlevie, published in Toronto for the Canada’s Crown Land Office, serving as the official blueprint for the administration of the region during a generation of transformative change. - This excellent map depicts Quebec’s Gaspé Peninsula, known in French as ‘La Gaspésie’, a large landmass that juts into the Gulf of St. Lawrence, marking the southern side of the mouth of the St. Lawrence estuary. The map is predicated on surveys conducted in the early 1850s by Gerald George Dunlevie, a Bahamian-born surveyor, working on behalf of Canada’s Crown Land Office. While the most advanced survey of the region to date, as noted upon the map, Dunlevie comprehensively surveyed only the populated southern and eastern parts of the peninsula. Here he conduced precise trigonometric surveys of each of the settled townships (noting the land areas of each), while delineating major reads, the locations of township centers, as well as the lands of the ‘Clergy Reserves’ (which will be discussed later). The Gaspésie’s vast interior, which was almost totally void of European settlement, is left unsurveyed, marked in parts as ‘This Tract yet unexplored’; as is the sparely populated north shore, which is noted as being ‘Occupied, and Proposed to be surveyed’. Importantly, however, in addition to the settled townships, Dunlevie surveyed the Kempt Road, which ran across the neck of the peninsula, and provided the only landward link between New Brunswick and Quebec City. During the 1850s, the government of the united Canadas (Ontario and Quebec) was determined to spur widespread settlement and economic development in areas outside of the densely populated Windsor-Quebec City Corridor, such as the Gaspésie. This entailed a number of legislative and taxation changes to incentivize settlement. Dunlevie was dispatched to the Gaspésie by the Crown Land Office to survey the more promising areas for further development. The present map was published for the Crown Land Office, having been carefully reduced from Dunlevie’s original manuscript, under the supervision of its commissioner, Joseph Édouard Cauchon. It was published in Toronto, in 1857, by the firm of MacLear & Co. Lithographers. Historical Context: Transformative Change in Quebec’s Gaspésie - The Gaspésie region is an immense peninsula that had long been home to European settlers along it southern and eastern shores, but was scarcely populated in its interior, while is northern shore was a region of fleeting development. While a very small number of European fisherman had inhabited Gaspésie’s shorelines during French colonial times, the period following the Seven Years’ War and the American Revolution saw waves of settlement of Acadians (exiled from the Maritimes), as well as English-speaking settlers from the Thirteen American colonies. The coasts of the region, particularly the areas of its future southern and eastern townships were first surveyed in 1765, to a very high standard, by teams working under Samuel Holland. Between that time and 1850s, the Crown had simply utilized the Holland template, only adding updated details, as opposed to commissioning new general surveys. The most prominent map from this long era was Joseph Bouchette’s Plan of the District of Gaspe (London: William Faden, 1815). By the 1850s, the government of the united Canadas decided to spur the mass settlement and economic development of the outer regions of the provinces, such as the Gaspésie. First, the Windsor-Quebec Corridor had become highly developed, such that there was no free land available for new settlers. Second, the Crown was eager to exploit the resources in the outer regions, which in the Gaspésie consisted of fish, timer, and minerals. Third, the Crown wanted to ensure that all coastal regions and areas near the U.S. border were settled, i
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