Investors wanted for Law’s Mississippi Company: a rare description of Louisiana, designed to lure capital

By WEIGEL, Christopher, 1734 
£10,000
£6,000

Novissima Tabula Regionis Ludovicianae Gallice dictae La Louisiane… [together with] Geographische Beschreibung der Provinz Louisiana in Canada von dem Fluß St Lorenz bis an den Vusfluß des Flusses Missisipi…

America North America
  • Author: WEIGEL, Christopher
  • Publication place: [Nuremberg
  • Publication date: 1734] and [c1720].
  • Physical description: Engraved map (315 by 415mm) in contemporary hand colour and broadside in folio (paper size 365 by 450mm), a tear to lower margin not affecting the text.
  • Dimensions: 315 by 415mm. (12.5 by 16.25 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 13039

Notes

Weigel’s map of Louisiana, accompanied by an extremely rare promotional German broadsheet prepared to encourage the sales of shares of Law’s Mississippi Company.

The text includes information to attract an investor’s attention, such as the history and colonisation of Louisiana, its flora and fauna, the natural resources and current affairs.

In the eighteenth century, the promise of a fertile and developing region in the New World was still an issue when concerning attracting capital investment. The broadside seems to be related to the Historische und Geographische beschreibung des an dem grossen Flusse Mississippi in Nord America gelegenen herrlichen Landes Louisiana’, of which we could only found one copy sold at the Streeter sale in 1966 for $1300. According to Streeter’s notes, his copy was acquired from Lathrop Harper in 1945. This very rare German tract was issued to encourage sales in Germany of shares in Mr Law’s Mississippi Company. It is closely printed and the text would fill some twenty octavo pages (Streeter).

The map is based on De L’Isle’s seminal map of 1718 and it provides a detailed view of the Gulf region and the Mississippi. The exploration routes of De Soto, Cavalier, Tonty, Moscoso and Denis are all marked. 

Bibliography

  1. Alden‑L 720/102
    • Alden, J. and Landis, D., eds. (1980). European Americana: A Chronological Guide to Works Printed in Europe Relating to the Americas, 1493–1776, New York: Readex Books.

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