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18th-Century Map Gallery

The history of the exploration and colonization of North America is vividly depicted upon maps drawn by European cartographers, only a few of whom were personally familiar with the New World. This gallery contains images of, and several redrawn versions of, fourteen maps spanning the 18th century. Collectively, these show what the French, Spanish, and British knew about the physical and cultural geography of the area that is today occupied by Texas and Louisiana. Many of the maps are based on earlier maps, sometimes repeating the same mistakes, sometimes adding new knowledge, and rarely crediting the original mapmakers. The country and language of the cartographers are reflected by spelling and by which details and features are shown.

The earliest map (1703) was drawn before Los Adaes existed and before the locations of Adais Indian villages were known. By 1718 an "Adaie" village is shown near where the Spanish mission and presidio were established a few years later. Later 18th-century maps show the location of Presidio Adaes and sometimes indicate the villages or general location of the Adais. The last map (1801), was drawn a few decades after the Spanish outpost was abandoned and depicts neither the presidio or the Adais.

All of the original historic maps shown here are in the public domain and have been published in multiple sources. Many of maps in this gallery can be found in the David Rumsey Map Collection or the American Memory Map Collections, Library of Congress .

Select a map to see enlarged views and map details of the Los Adaes area.

map by Guillaume Delisle, 1703
Guillaume Delisle 1703
map by John Senex, 1718/19
John Senex 1719
map by Francisco Alvarez Barriero, 1770
Francisco Álvarez Barreiro 1728
redrawn version of a map by Sandoval and Franquis, 1740
Sandoval and Franquis 1740
map by John Mitchell, 1756
John Mitchell 1755
map by Urrutia, 1771
Urrutia 1769
map by Thomas Jefferys, 1776
Thomas Jefferys 1776
 
map by Guillaume Delisle, 1718
Guillaume Delisle 1718
map by Benard de la Harpe, 1723
Benard de la Harpe 1723
map by Jean Baptiste Bourguignon d'Anville, 1752
Jean Baptiste Bourguignon d'Anville 1732
map by Alexandre de Batz, 1747
Alexandre De Batz 1747
map by Jacques Nicolas Bellin, 1764
Jacques Nicolas Bellin 1764
map by Alzate-Ramirez, 1768
Alzate-Ramirez 1768
redrawn version of a map by Puelles, 1801
Puelles 1801