[Amsterdam. 1720]. Single-sheet map, 9 3/4 x 7 3/4 inches. Minor foxing. Near fine. Item #WRCAM48868
A scarce early map of the Mississippi River Valley, depicting the American region between the Gulf of Mexico and the Great Lakes, taken from HET GROOT TAFEREEL DER DWAASHEID... [THE GREAT MIRROR OF FOLLY], a scathing account of the speculative crashes that led to European financial disaster in 1720. The work was a chronicle of the failed attempts by John Law, Controller General of Finances for the French government, to open Louisiana to trade in order to help alleviate France's financial problems. This led to the creation of the Mississippi Company, which created the "Mississippi Bubble" incident that destroyed the Banque Generale Privee (the General Private Bank, which Law founded). The map depicts the Mississippi River, parts of Louisiana and Florida, Lakes Michigan (referred to here as "Lac de Illionis") and Superior, the extent of French colonial explorations in the region, and names of Indian tribes. It is decorated with a title cartouche incorporating the arms of John Law, and depicting two Native Americans holding a cornucopia, through which flows the mighty Mississippi River.