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Topographical Map of the Districts of Quebec, Three Rivers, St Francis and Gaspé, Lower Canada, exhibiting the new civil division of the districts into counties pursuant to a recent act of the Provincial Legislature
London: James Wyld, 2 May 1831. Large engraved map (50 x 90 inches, if joined), on six sheets, hand-coloured in outline. In good condition. A spectacular large scale map of Quebec and other districts in Lower Canada by one of the most important figures in the history of Canadian cartography. This very rare and beautifully-executed map is Joseph Bouchette's cartographic masterpiece, and is here in its most desirable form. It was available on six sheets (as here), four sheets backed on to linen, or dissected into small sections backed onto cloth and folding into protective covers. It includes a smaller scale inset map of the district of Gaspé, together with 5 inset views of coastal scenery. In addition many of the new counties also include the grid divisions which were used to mark out the plots which had been surveyed and were available for settlement. Joseph Bouchette was "particularly important for the history and development of Canada. In addition to completely reorganizing surveying and cartographic services in Lower Canada. He published works that demonstrate his artistic and scientific talents" (Dictionary of Canadian Biography ). Bouchette served as Surveyor-General of Lower Canada from 1804 to 1841 (the office was abolished at his death), he travelled extensively over a period of fifteen years, and went on to produce the most accurate and important topographical works of his time on British North America. The genesis of the present work was the need to resolve ownership disputes in the area and also to establish which areas had been surveyed. "With this in mind ... [Bouchette] asked all the seigneurs for copies of their title deeds, to enable him to direct the work of his survey parties. Furthermore, his office was swamped with requests from men who, having served in the war, had received crown land grants and wanted them surveyed. Matters were in such a state of confusion that in 1820 the governor, Lord Dalhousie, asked Bouchette to investigate the situation in the area between Lake Champlain and the American frontier and the St Lawrence River. It was necessary to identify which of the occupied lands had been surveyed and which had not ... Subsequently he directed the work on a vast number of files related to the surveying of crown lands in Lower Canada. Because there was still so much confusion regarding grants to military men, in 1824 Lord Dalhousie asked Bouchette to make a tour of the various townships in which they were located" (op. cit.). From 1826 to 1829 Bouchette continued to collect data, before leaving for London in September 1829 and beginning his attempt to publish the information he had gathered. Despite his official position and the help of various influential friends and potential patrons, it took him almost three years before anything was published. The present map, a very visible vindication of all Bouchette's efforts, appeared in May 1831.
      [Bookseller: Donald Heald Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2013-08-01           Check availability:      Biblio    


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