1795 - Arrowsmith map published

The Arrowsmith map

      The famed English cartographer Arrowsmith prints his map of North America in a successful effort to keep up with the explosion of geographic knowledge pouring in from French, English, and Spanish traders in the West.  The new map shows the Sioux ranging from the upper Mississippi to the Red River and just beyond, to the upper Missouri.  Much of Arrowsmith's information was taken from two remarkable contributors…Peter Fidler and David Thompson, the best cartographers in early America.  Both had seen the country with their own eyes and lived with the tribes for extended periods.

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         In 1800, Peter Fidler build Chesterfield House on the South Saskatchewan River, and the next year obtained a remarkable map of the Upper Missouri Basin from a Blackfoot Chief living at the base of the Rocky Mountains…he took this information to England, where it ended up on the map drawn by Arrowsmith, and is today preserved in the Kohl Collection at the Library of Congress.   Wheat: "It is unquestionably the best and most important Indian map that has come down to our day, and in many respects it is an astonishing document."

         The map shows the head-streams of the Missouri, like the ribs of a gigantic fan, flowing eastward from the Rocky Mountains…