Copper engraving, 22.5 x 33 cm, modern hand colour, blank verso. This map covers the Baja Peninsula and northern Mexico, and includes modern Texas and Louisiana.
‘Texas’ probably refers to the Mission de Los Tejas, established by the Spanish in 1690 in response to French exploration and attempted settlement in the region led by Robert de La Salle. The location of La Salle’s murder by one of his disaffected companions is also marked on the map.
The map was published in a Geneva edition of Guillaume Thomas Raynal’s ‘Atlas de Toutes Parties Connues du Globe Terrestre…’, which accompanied Raynal’s fiercely anti-colonial ‘Histoire des deux Indes’. Raynal’s work was a great success, but the third revised edition of 1780 – for which the atlas was compiled – was banned in Bourbon France (it was burnt by the public executioner in May 1781) and Raynal himself was forced into exile. In this context a Geneva imprint makes a great deal of sense. Bonne held a royal appointment, having succeeded Bellin as chief hydrographic engineer of the “Dépôt des cartes, plans et journaux du Ministère de la Marine”.