Rigobert Bonne; 1729-1793.
Bonne, a trained mathematician, was appointed Hydrographer
to the King. He took over the responsibility of the French
Hydrographic Institute ("Dépôt de la Marine") after the death
of Bellin in 1772. This position enabled Bonne to pre-eminent access to prime mapping data, which he could use successfully
for his own private business interests.
He followed in the steps of the French school of cartographic
minutiae and geographic accuracy. As such he produced, often
in collaboration with other mapmakers, a large number of excellent
His name is generally associated with a type of equal area
projection he often used after 1757.
Of note, his participation (with Janvier and Rizzi-Zannoni)
to Jean Lattré's 1762 "Atlas Moderne". But he is most well
known for the wealth of maps he prepared for Guillaume Thomas
François Raynal's "Atlas de toutes les parties connues du
globe terrestre" (1780), and also for Nicolas Desmaret*'s
"Atlas Encyclopédique" (1787, re-issued in 1827).
* Desmaret: of engineering fame for the first recorded design
of an undersea tunnel between France and England in 1751.
la Louisiane, et de la Floride.
This map (8 5/16" X 12 5/8") was produced for the "Atlas
de toutes les parties connues du globe terrestre".
It is rather unusual: the coastal delineation is quite correct
(specially for the Louisiana part which the French knew very
well after forty five years of presence in New Orleans, founded
in 1718), but the states lines are quite erratic and unlike
the trademark professional precision of Bonne*. On the Atlantic
side, the Georgia Florida border does not follow the St Marys
river, The western most Florida border is not following the
Iberville river. The state line between the two Carolinas
is pure fantasy. Louisiane still extends deeply east of the
Mississippi (french sovereignty over that area was terminated
by the first treaty of Paris in 1763). And finally: no mention
is made of the two Floridas. Under the British rule (between
1763 and 1783), Florida was partitioned into West (capital
city: Pensacola) and East (capital city: St Augustine).
Note also the profound ignorance of the inland geography of
the Florida peninsula (strange shape and location for the
Okeechobee lake, here named St Esprit, or Holy Ghost).
No text on verso.
* Said state lines are not important in 1780 (both Georgia and Florida belonged to England)...but after the Revolutionary War ended, Georgia fell with the newly established USA while Florida was back under the control of Spain....imprecision of borders will have some unfortunate consequences..