North America is shared by three colonial powers : England, France and Spain. The center of the continent, between the Great Lakes in the North and the Carolinas in the South, between Acadia in the East and the Sioux Territory in the West, is sparsely populated and the borders are not really defined.
Since 1682 the French controlled under the name of Louisiane a continuous stripe that extends from Quebec to the mouth of the Mississippi. Since 1718 the reference is the map of Delisle, very precise geographically but politically anticipating a French extension. This situation can not suit Lord Halifax, in charge of colonial affairs since 1748 with the title of President of the Board of Trade.
John Mitchell is a colonial botanist and physician, back from Virginia to London in 1746 for health reasons. He shares Halifax's views on the French threat in North America. Halifax commissioned him to draw a detailed map, opening to him all the relevant archives available in London.
In 1754 Mitchell's second manuscript map responds to the level of details desired by the government. The war with the French is already easier than expected. Halifax does not require an exclusively military use and a copyright is granted in 1755. This large wall map 136 x 195 cm is an encouragement to patriotism. Errors in Nova Scotia, a land strategically important for Lord Halifax, are corrected by Mitchell two years later.
Mitchell's map can be watercolored by hand to identify the areas of influence, objectively or not. It will serve as a geographical reference in 1783 for the Treaty of Paris to establish the boundaries between the British Empire and the United States of America.
On July 28 in New York, Arader Galleries sells a fully colored copy of the third edition, printed in London around 1774. Its condition is announced as excellent, assessing that this copy did not suffer a long time wall hanging. This map is estimated $ 180K, lot 59 here linked on the LiveAuctioneers and Invaluable bidding platforms.
SOLD for $ 165K before fees