Pouchot Map & Letter

Documents Relative to the Colonial History of the State of New York
Vol. 10, pages 694-9.
[The Pouchot map below is attached between these pages.]

This is the map on which Ft. Standen Stone appears long before it was thought to have existed. The slice of the map enlarged above shows how inaccurate Pouchot’s conception of the territory was. As he explains in the letter below, he has not seen this country himself; his map is based on the best reports he has been able to obtain. [Image enhanced by Fred Lang.]

Captain Pouchot to Marshal de Belle Isle [Department de la Guerre, Paris]

Montreal, 14th April 1758.

My Lord,

I have handed to the Marquis de Vaudreuil a map and Memoir on the subject of the French and English frontiers, which I have drawn up on the best information I have been able to procure during my sojourn at Niagara. I had laid down, in my voyages, the course of the river from Montreal, Lake Ontario as far as Lake Erie; therefore it has an appearance of truth which correctly represents the country and is not contained in any other maps. As I have not been on the English frontier, I laid that down according to their best maps, which I again corrected on such reliable information as I have obtained. It is in sufficient detail, however, to show the interest we ought to take to prevent the English interposing obstacles in the way of the Iroquois and Loups who form a barrier. That country, my Lord, would be well worth being seen by experienced eyes, which has not as yet been the case; the well known Carrying place of Niagara is an evident proof. The most recent accounts thereof describe it as the most rugged of Alps, whilst ‘tis only a rise of ground (rideau) a little more elevated than that of Bellevue; below and above are very fine plains, as can be seen on my map.

The detail of Lake Erie, which is entirely unknown; it is, perhaps [as] navigable for large vessels as Lake Ontario. The resources of those countries, once known, would furnish opportunities of avoiding long routes and expenses, exclusive of enabling us to occupy more decided points for the security of the country.

If you have the goodness, my Lord, to signify to me that this essay might please you, I shall set about perfecting that work in order to accomplish all the objects which will possibly be required of it.

I hope, by my zeal, to deserve the kindness you have promised to honor me with, my Lord, on the recommendation of Mde de Meillian. Since our arrival in this country I have had the good fortune to be always pretty usefully employed. I constructed the Frontenac intrenchments, completed Fort Niagara and the siege of Chouaguen. I dare hope, my Lord, that you will be graciously pleased to give your attention to the good reports of me which our Generals are so good as to render.

I am, with most profound respect, my Lord,

Your most humble and most obedient servant,

Pouchot, Captn. in the Bearn regiment