Historic map called a hoax by U.S. expert

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A treasured Canadian artifact, hailed as the earliest map of the American Midwest - and proof of the 1673 discovery of the Mississippi River by two French Canadian explorers - has been dismissed as a "hoax" by a U.S. researcher, who claims it couldn't have been drawn before the War of 1812.

The map was discovered in the 1840s at a Montreal religious college among historical documents related to the Jesuit missionaries of early Canada.

It is held today by the Jesuit Archives in St. Jerome, but was loaned to the U.S. Smithsonian Institution and the Canadian Museum of Civilization for recent exhibitions celebrating the 400th anniversary of French settlement in North America.

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