1704-1705 map

This map of Mobile, drawn in 1704-1705, contains a remarkably detailed, but tiny, sketch of Fort Louis in the lower center. The seminary priests' quarters is shown in the upper right. Unfortunately for modern scholars, our anonymous mapmaker neglected to indicate anything about the other hundred or so buildings in town. Instead, town lots contain the names of individual colonists to whom the lots were assigned. This is a land claims plat. It is, perhaps, our clearest portrayal of the colonists' plans for the town, including a large market square and a central "Place Royale." Archaeology, however, demonstrates how incompletely their urban dreams were realized.

Plan de la ville et du Fort Louis sur la Mobile, Dépôt des Fortifications des Colonies, Louisiane, III 6 PFB 120. Reproduced with permission of the Centre des Archives d'Outre-mer, Aix-en-Provence (Archives nationales), France.

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Thursday, July 23, 2015 9:06 AM