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Vincenzo Coronelli

Into the heart of the Continent
To Europeans in the late 1600s, water routes in the interior of North America were known in greater detail than the land itself.
A cosmographer of the Republic of Venice, Vincenzo Maria Coronelli, produced this map in a 1688 atlas. It was based on reports of French and Spanish explorers.

This map is one of the first to accurately portray the five Great Lakes and the northern section of the Mississippi River. Because the Great Lakes and connecting channels were the major routes to the heart of the continent, this region was as well known as the eastern seaboard, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico.

Maps of this period typically include ornate drawings reflecting European preconceptions of America and notes describing rapids, portages, missions, forts, and the names of Native tribes inhabiting the region.
Great Lakes Maps Survey
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