Spelling and Geography Errors

Up Catalog

Haiti 450, C145

     Haiti commemorated the man who was the first non-native to build  a house and live on the site of what would become Chicago, Jean Baptiste Paul Dessables. It would appear from the search I have done that his correct name was Jean Baptiste Pointe Du Sable, who was commemorated on  US 2249. The spelling, Dessables, is a variant spelling known both in Haiti and in Chicago, and is used by a descendant of Jean Baptiste. So, we have a non-error with the last name. It does appear that Pointe is more likely to be correct than Paul.
     In addition, it has been pointed out that Daniel Friedrich Sotzmann, the German cartographer who made the map, spelled Mississippi, Mississippe, and moved the river west. He based his map on one by Arrowsmith, so the supposed error may go back further. The spelling of Mississippi was not fixed in the 18th century; even the Mississippi territorial seal has a variant, Missisippi. Furthermore, the map is from Germany. We have then an error in the location of the Mississippi River, erroneously placed further west than it should be.    

SCN 450

Back Next