Sailing Instructions from Bienville, founder of New Orleans
Lot 47
SAILING INSTRUCTIONS—[LE MOYNE DE BIENVILLE, JEAN-BAPTISTE. 1680 –1767.] Manuscript in an unidentified hand, 8 pp, small folio, n.p., n.d.[but c.1720], being an early copy of a series of English sailing instructions
US$ 4,000 - 6,000
£2,400 - 3,600
Auction Details
Lot Details
SAILING INSTRUCTIONS—[LE MOYNE DE BIENVILLE, JEAN-BAPTISTE. 1680 –1767.]
Manuscript in an unidentified hand, 8 pp, small folio, n.p., n.d.[but c.1720], being an early copy of a series of English sailing instructions with docketed note in a different hand noting that the text was "Recu par la lettre de M / De Bienville du 4. 7bre / 1723," divided into three sections, the first "of the Kape [sic] of Crux" [i.e. Cabo Cruz, Cuba], 4½ pp, the second "of the great & small Caymants" [Caymans], ½ p, the third "of the Channel of Bahama," 2¾ pp, stitched. Old folds, old repairs to some folds, some margins tattered with slight loss, dampstained.

AN INTERESTING EARLY 18TH CENTURY ACCOUNT OF SHIPPING CHANNELS IN CABO CRUZ, THE CAYMANS, AND THE BAHAMAS. The language used suggests that this is a literal translation from a French original – a supposition backed up by the docketed note, which suggests that these sailing directions were sent from Le Moyne, the founder of New Orleans. The language is direct, but descriptive and distinctive: "This Kape is very high on the side of the sea, he is flat above as a Table, at his entering there is an opening high devises itself like an Illand [sic.] from said Kape, there is many breakage, especially on the south side ... Of the Channel of the Bahama. This Channel hath the Coast of Florida to the West and ... Roques de Biminy & Mimbers [sic.] to the East, his entering is very large...."
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