La Louisiane [broadside]
- La Louisiane [broadside]
- Full Title:
- Geographische Beschreibung der Provinz Louisiana, in Canada, von dem Fluss St. Lorenz bis an den Ausfluss des Flusses Missisipi : samt einem kurtzen Bericht von dem jetzo florirenden Actien-Handel. [Geographical Description of the Province of Louisiana, in Canada, from the St. Lawrence River to the Mouth of the Mississippi River|And a Short Report of the Now Flourishing Stock Trading.] [broadside]
- Persuasive Maps: PJ Mode Collection
- Weigel, Christoph, 1654-1725
- Date posted:
- ID Number:
Money & Finance
Advertising & Promotion
- (cm, H x W) 37 x 46 (sheet)
- Collector's Notes:
- See generally Notes and other information for ID #1017.01, La Louisiane.|The principal title of this broadside is precisely what one would expect of text associated with an early 18th century map: "Geographical Description of the Province of Louisiana." Certainly the description of the land itself sounds like a good investment: there are buffalo whose "meat is extraordinarily juicy and fat" "oak and other tall timber for building, vines and various fruitbearing trees, deer, beaver, otter and wild geese, swans, parrots, turtles, partridge, quail" and "no lack of fish in the waters." There are "coal slate and iron mines" along with "salt wells containing alum." "Pieces of red pure copper which were found in various regions reveal that mines of copper must exist and they will probably find other metals and minerals and discover still more in time." (Translation from Johnson, 1983).
The broadside's subtitle tells the real story: "And a Short Report of the Now Flourishing Stock Trading." The final paragraph on the second page of the broadside begins with the statement that "this is about as much as one can extract, for the time being, from the geographical description of the great province of Louisiana . . . for the reader's pleasure and explanation of the map," thus confirming the relationship between the map and the text. It proceeds to "give some information with respect to the shares and conditions of the stock company," starting with an assertion that "the French stock trade" is unlike that in Holland. Specifically, "this Dutch stock trade brings uncertain gain. On the other hand, the French trade in shares is not concerned with loss or gain but rather with tracts of land which are being assigned as property to those who have invested capital. . . . And because the value of such land tracts on account of their fertility and the potential for a great trade there is praised more and more it follows that the stock value rises from one week to the next so that what sold for one hundred imperial thaler now brings 2000." Ibid. (Students of modern economics and markets may have difficulty following the logic.)
To be clear, "the whole trade of the shares rests on the credit of a Scotsman named Law . . . , a clever and sharp mind, who started the bank in Paris and afterwards got the West Indian Mississippi trading company going. He also knew by persuasion and imaginative advertising to exalt the enterprise as great and profitable for the people so that everybody wanted to share in these profits." The broadside concludes that "one can easily understand why the shares which now have risen to 2000 from one hundred can still rise much higher." (Ibid). Alas, it was not to be. Having risen 20-fold from their offering price, shares in the Mississippi company peaked in the period November 1719-February 1720|by May they had declined 50 percent, and 90 percent by the end of 1720. Accordingly, it appears that the map and broadside were published in late 1719 (consistent with the date of the Kohler atlas described in ID #1017.01) as a final effort to find new investors in the Mississippi Bubble.
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