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Stock# 62300
Description

Rare Czech map of North America, published in Neueste Lander und Boltersunde, in Prague.

The map provides a fascinating depiction of the Transmississippi West, with unusual mountain ranges and a wishful but elusive search for a simple watercourse from the Missouri to the Pacific, with hints of short portages in across relatively minor Pacific Coastal Ranges.  Among the notes is a reference to "Fiedler 1793,"  a reference to Peter Fidler, a British Surveyor, who was active with the Hudsons Bay Company in the last part of the 18th Century. Beginning at York Factory in 1788, Fidler was promoted to clerk and posted to Manchester House and South Branch House in what later became Saskatchewan within his first year. In 1790, he was transferred to Cumberland House and given training in surveying and astronomy by Philip Turnor who also trained David Thompson. Fidler accompanied Turnor on an exploration expedition to the west from 1790 to 1792 attempting to find a route to Lake Athabasca and Great Slave Lake and therefore a route to the Pacific Ocean. Although the river route to the west his employer sought was found not to exist, on this and following expeditions Fidler gathered data for the first of several maps that he produced. Information he gathered was incorporated into the maps by Arrowsmith and others.

The map similarly notes "Vandriel 1791." John Cornelius Vandriel (Van Driel), was the North West Company clerk who was stationed at Ile-a-la-Cross in 1788-89, and Athabasca in 1789-90. Vandriel had some knowledge of Surveying, likely learned from MacKenzie, who sent him to make surveying observations on the road to the Grand Portage in 1790. After leaving the North West Company, Vandriel worked for 5 years for the Hudson Bay Company, where he travelled as far as the Cumberland House. 

One of the map's most interesting features re the extraordinarily southern course of the Missouri and its tributaries to the South, which easily traverse the course of the Plains, past the non-existent Rocky Mountains, and into Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and the eastern Part of California, with the Platte, Little Missouri, Panis and Gallatin reaching the coastal range before ending without quite reaching the Pacific.

The map is rich with Indian detail in both the Transmississippi West and the Missouri and Mississippi Valleys.

The discoveries of the Hudson Bay Company and the trading houses established in the late 18th and early 19th Centuries are much better documented, with dates of exploration, dozens of trading houses located and other notes.

The map includes nice post-Vancouver, post-La Perouse information along the NW and California Coastlines, with a detailed inset map of Alaska. Mississippi Territory has not yet been divided and Ohio and Michigan do not appear.