Early Map of the Great Lakes and Fur Trading Regions of French Canada (1719) | Unpublished

Warning message

  • Last import of users from Drupal Production environment ran more than 7 days ago. Import users by accessing /admin/config/live-importer/drupal-run
  • Last import of nodes from Drupal Production environment ran more than 7 days ago. Import nodes by accessing /admin/config/live-importer/drupal-run

Unpublished Opinions

Tsit-Kanaja Kaniengehaga's picture
Renfrew, Ontario
About the author

My name is Jason (Rotisken'rakehte) Arbour, Appointed Chief and Legal Representative of Kana:tso Kaniengehaga First Nation. In 1903 my family/band was disbanded from our Indian resserve and place of origin at Gatineau, Quebec. To date, I have been chosen to raise awareness and respectfully represent our community's legal interest of re-establish our historical rights to our traditional territory at the Chaudiere Falls. 

I am indigenous to the Ottawa-Hull region of Canada. I was born and raised in Ottawa and I am happily maried with five boys and one grandaughter.

Like it

Early Map of the Great Lakes and Fur Trading Regions of French Canada (1719)

July 6, 2022

Finely coloured example of this remarkable map of Canada, the Great Lakes and the course of the Mississippi, extending south to the Missouri River.

This map from 1719 clearly shows that the area we now know to be the City of Ottawa and its surroundings was known by a different name to the French 300 years ago: The Beaver Hunting Grounds of the Yroquois, or as it states in French on the map, "Chasse de Castor des Yroquois".

Earlier historical reports indicate my ancestors were well established living and hunting in the capital region in the 17th century. Nevertheless, 1719 is well before the arrival of the British into the Ottawa-Gatineau region. Negating an argument that is often made that the Mohawks migrated north with the British. This map makes it clear that my ancestors were established in this region long before the British arrived. 

Jason Arbour

From the rare map websitehttps://www.raremaps.com/gallery/detail/52519/carte-particuliere-du-fleuve-saint-louis-dressee-sur-les-lieux-avec-les-noms-des-sauvages-du-pais-chatelain?fbclid=IwAR2gR8nQX0__Ugfn6L0PJSTo5t8ivFprb3f4pLTEYanMcAUpovzxaWXGozQ

This map is one of the best obtainable compilations of the locations of the various French Missions, forts, and French and Indian settlements during the period, and also depicts significant river crossing locations, portages and other essential travel information in the region. The search for the water route to the Pacific is still very much alive in the reports of this map, although no definitive route is shown as clearly open.

The map provides one of the most interesting depictions of the Upper Mississippi River during the time period, derived from Jolliet's rare map and report. In 1663, the French embarked on a westward expansion policy, initially focused on locating the Mississippi River, whose existence was known through Indian reports. Louis Jolliet, a fur trader and explorer, and Jacques Marquette, a Jesuit father led an overland expedition to the west, which left Green Bay in May 1673.

After following the courses of the Fox and Wisconsin Rivers, the expedition reached the upper Mississippi. Continuing south, they discovered the mouths of the Missouri, Ohio, and Arkansas Rivers. On the return trip, they found a short cut to Lake Michigan by following the Illinois and Des Plaines Rivers to a portage at 

Chicago. Several manuscript maps survive based on the discoveries of Jolliet and Marquette, with this first printed version being adapted for inclusion in Thevenot's Recueil des Voyages (Paris, 1681). Thevenot's map shows for the first time on a printed map the Mississippi and its tributaries north of the Arkansas based on first-hand observation. The depiction of the river between the Arkansas and the gulf is based on speculation. It was also the first map to include the place name Michigan or Mitchigami.

The present map extends south to the Ouabach River.