A LANDMARK MAP FOR WESTERN CANADA
Map of the North West Part of Canada Indian Territories & Hudson’s Bay Compiled & Drawn by Thos. Devine Provincial Land Surveyor & Draftsman by Order of the Hon. Joseph Cauchon Commisioner of Crown Lands. Crown Lands Department, Toronto, 1857. Published by S. Derbishire & G Desbarats Printer to the Queens Most Excellent Majesty. [with] Appendix to report of the Commissioner of Crown Land. Part II: Maps of Canada
Lithograph with full period color, 56-3/4” x 61-1/2”. On two sheets, cloth-backed, dissected, folding into a slipcover. Slipcover worn, with top cover missing. Map in fine condition.
Thomas Devine’s Map of the North West Part of Canada Indian Territories & Hudson’s Bay (1857) was the first map of the west compiled and printed in Canada and has been described as “an outstanding consolidation of cartographic material on the West.” Devine was an Irish surveyor and cartographer who immigrated to Canada and became head of surveys for Upper Canada. In this position he was in charge of the project surveys of Canada’s crown lands, and was responsible for a number of important maps of Canada, but the map being offered here has always been considered his finest achievement.
“One of the best examples of the changing perspective on the land” came in Devine’s Map “which reflected the new positive attitude of the province to the Hudson’s Bay territories” – Frances. At the time, Canadians were largely ignorant of the potential of their vast territories, but Devine’s map detailed the rich resources and abundant capabilities of the region. It portrays the topography, geology, and climatic zones as then known, and highlights the capacity of the land for agriculture and settlement. The map delineates a vast geographical area that includes the Great Lakes.
At the beginning of the 20th Century, Canadians claimed that the boundary of the Alaskan panhandle should be redrawn to give them the heads of the principle salt-water inlets along the Pacific Ocean. This dispute resulted in the Alaska Boundary Tribunal between Great Britain and the United States. A facsimile of Devine’s map was published by the U.S. government for use at the tribunal, which decided in favor of the Americans.
Phillips, p. 199; R. Douglas Francis, The Prairie West as Promised Land.
Inventory No. 8247