Exploration and Discovery in the Heartland of America

1650 - 1700


Five Documents as Presented to the Chicago Map Society, Regarding the Jacques Marquette Map Hoax Thesis

The Jacques Marquette Map Hoax Thesis states three things:

Marquette had no map training,
He's not known to be associated with any other maps, and
There are features on the map that are much too in advance of their times; noticeably, the three-sides-of-an-octagon shape of the Illinois River is 140 years ahead of it's time.

David Buisseret made a false claim to the Chicago Map Society. That was on March 15, 2012, in his talk, The Great Marquette Map Hoax; a Hoax unhoaxed.

He erroneously presented to the Map Society audience that a "precise" version of the Marquette Map in France, had been there since the 17th century.

Buisseret and Kupfer are the first authors to argue that a "precise" copy of the Marquette Map had been in Paris since 1676. They said the map was "one of five documents," and each had its counterparts in Canada and France. That is unsupportable.

Buisseret projected a slide, for the Map Society audience, with the five French documents side by side with the five Canadian counterpart documents. He went on to explain, rhetorically asking, why would someone want to forge a map in the mid-1800s, pretending it to be from the 17th century, when there was the same "precise" map, in France since 1676?

In his and Carl Kupfer's piece in the Journal of Illinois History, "Validating the 1673 'Marquette Map'," they no longer made the claim that a "precise" copy/version of the Marquette Map (and the Journal of the Second Voyage) had been in Paris since the 1670s.

The following text is transcribed from a recording, Buisseret acknowledging that he had told the map society there were five documents made.

Weber: Hi David.
Buisseret: Hello, how are you.
Kupfer: Hi Carl.
Weber: I wanted to ask you a couple of things... the five documents, I think there was a slide that goes with what those were. I'm familiar [with the five documents]. You had a slide up with five French titles.
Buisseret: Of course I did. I had the equivalents from Toronto and from Paris, side by side.
Weber: That's what I wanted to see, that's what I wanted to read. Is that available to me? 
Buisseret: Well of course its available.
Kupfer: You can read Hamilton, and he'll have it.
Buisseret: Yes, Hamilton has that.
Weber: Well, no. I've read Hamilton. I've Read Hamilton.

They are telling Weber to look in Hamilton, whom Weber knows well. There is no place in Hamilton that says what Buisseret says he is saying. I.e., that a "precise" version of the Marquette map had been there since the 1700s.

A fuller discussion of Buisseret's five document will show there were not five documents, there were three documents. He overlooked in Hamilton that there are only three documents, not five -- and Hamilton says that many writers fall into the mistake of not properly sequencing the Relations in Twaites. That is the mistake that Buisseret makes. The three documents are the Recit, the Journal of the Second Voyage, and the Marquette Map. Hamilton points out that the the Recit is one work, written in one continuous hand, with three chapters, each with various sections.


The Montreal Recit

Marquette Map Not on 1845 Inventory of Felix Martin


1650-1700 Maps French Colonial

Jacques Marquette Map

DuPage County, Illinois, Etymology

Marquette Map Hoax: Conference on Illinois History