The Wisconsin portion of Champlain's 1632 map.

Carte de la Nouvelle France, augmentée depuis la dernière, ... par le Sr. de Champlain Capitaine pour le Roy ... [Map of New France, expanded since the previous one, ... by Sieur de Champlain, captain for the King...]


Near the end of his life the explorer Champlain wrote a long account of his three decades of travels in North America. Accompanying his text was the large folding map seen here (reproduced from a 19th-century facsimile). The western portion showing Lake Superior is probably based on verbal reports by Etienne Brule, the only European thought to have visited the western Great Lakes before Jean Nicolet in 1634. Because Brule worked closely with Champlain, and because no other European is known to have visited the region before the map was published, modern historians assume he was the mapmaker's source of information. Unfortunately, Brule had died by 1632 and Champlain had never personally traveled to the far west, so the map is wildly inaccurate in how it represents Wisconsin. Nevertheless, historians generally agree that the features of Lake Superior probably came from Brule's reports. At the lower left is the junction of lakes Huron and Superior with Green Bay ("La Nation des Puans") mistakenly placed to the north of the two. Click "Zoom & Pan" to get get a closer view and read Champlain's notes about natural features.


Related Topics: Explorers, Traders, and Settlers
Arrival of the First Europeans
Creator: Champlain, Samuel de, ca 1567-1635
Pub Data: Facsimile of the original 1632 map as printed in: Voyages of Samuel de Champlain, translated from the French by Charles Pomeroy Otis; with historical illustrations, and a memoir by the Rev. Edmund F. Slafter. (Boston : Prince Society, 1878-1882.) Publications of the Prince Society, v. 11-13.
Citation: Champlain, Samuel de. Carte de la Nouvelle France, augmentée depuis la dernière, servant à la navigation faicte en son vray Meridien, par le Sr. de Champlain Capitaine pour le Roy en la Marine...(reprint of the Paris, 1632, edition). Online facsimile at:  http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/turningpoints/search.asp?id=101; Visited on: 12/18/2014
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