[Paris. 1826 (i.e. 1804)]. Line engraving, approximately 10 1/4 x 14 inches. Matted. A few small chips and very short closed tears at edges. Numbered twice in pencil at upper left corner. Light dust soiling and dampstaining. About very good. Item #WRCAM52523
From the atlas of Collot's famous VOYAGE DANS L'AMÉRIQUE SEPTENTRIONALE..., plate sixteen, depicting a log cabin in a forest clearing. This is considered to be the first real depiction of a classic American log cabin. Collot was sent by the French government to survey the Ohio and Mississippi valleys in 1796, to gauge the military situation on the frontier on the Spanish and American sides of the river, and to determine possible secessionist sentiment among American frontiersmen. Despite numerous difficulties in operating as a secret agent, under suspicion by both American and Spanish officials, Collot gathered a wealth of cartographical material, as well as sounding political waters. Returning to France, he prepared his work for publication and had it printed in 1804. Unfortunately, Napoleon had just sold Louisiana and, not wishing to draw attention to the area of which he had disposed, suppressed the publication. Collot died in 1805, and the sheets of the book and atlas sat in a warehouse for the next two decades. They were then purchased by Arthus Bertrand, the leading French publisher of voyages at the time. According to Bertrand's own testimony, he retained the original maps and plans, issued new titlepages with his imprint, and destroyed a number of sets to make it more scarce.