For Better and For Worse: The Cartographic Legacy of Jesuit Era Maps of the Upper Great Lakes and the Mississippi River Valley

Center for the History of Cartography Programs
Chicago Map Society Meeting
Thursday, September 20, 2012

5:30 pm – 7 pm

Towner Fellows’ Lounge

Presented by David Buisseret and Carl Kupfer

In 1673 Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet set out on a monumental voyage of exploration of the Mississippi River and its upper tributaries linking Lake Michigan. Two very different maps have come down to us. Marquette’s map of 1673 was the subject of our Map Society talk in March of this year. At the upcoming meeting we shall discuss a map drawn by Jean Baptiste Franquelin in 1675 that reflects Jolliet’s  recollections of the same journey, but depicting a very inaccurate geography of the same region. Whereas Marquette employed sound mapping techniques to draft a better map, Franquelin’s creation relied on an inaccurate map, the well-known Jesuit Map of Lake Superior of 1672, to draw his manuscript map of the Mississippi River, the Illinois Country, and the Upper Great Lakes. A number of derivative maps of both the Marquette and Franquelin models were produced in the years following the Marquette and Jolliet voyage. We will show how each of the maps influenced their derivatives, for better and for worse.

Social half-hour with refreshments begins at 5:30 pm followed by the lecture at 6 pm.

Cost and registration information: 

Meetings are open to the public. We do, however, ask for a $5 donation from non–Map-Society members to help support program costs, which are covered by members’ annual dues.