Jean-Baptiste Régis, the describing and mapping of Korea

Born at Istres, Provence, 11 June, 1663, or 29 Jan., 1664; Jean-Baptiste Régis died at Peking, 24 Nov., 1738. He was received into the Society of Jesus, 14 Sept. 1683, or 13 Sept. 1679, and in 1698 went on the Chinese mission, where he served science and religion for forty years, and took the chief share in the making of the general map of the Chinese Empire. For a complete account of his remarkable life, see the online Catholic Encyclopedia.

Other remarkable figures from this same period include  Fr Verbiest born 9 Oct., 1623; d. at Peking, 28 January, 1688. Jean-François Gerbillon born at Verdun, 4 June, 1654; died at Peking, China, 27 March, 1707

Father Régis's notes on the History of China etc remain unpublished in a manuscript in the French National Library : Nouvelle géographie de la Chine et de la Tartarie orientale  

The map of Korea (left) made on the basis of Régis' work is a landmark in the mapping of Korea and the first map to provide a reasonable accurate mapping of the Peninsula. In the early 18th Century, the Jesuit Missionaries were finally able to gain access to the indigenous cartography of Korea in an indirect fashion. Since the Jesuits were not actually allowed into Korea the Tartar Lord (Mukedeng, a troubleshooter and trusted assistant for the Kangxi emperor) was accompanied a Chinese Surveyor trained by the Jesuits. While closely monitored, they were allowed to produce a map which was exported to the Jesuits through the Tartar Lord.

The map was produced by Jean-Baptiste Regis, transmitted to Fr. Jean-Baptiste du Halde, was edited by d'Anville and published in 1737 in the French : Nouvel atlas de la Chine, de la Tartarie chinoise et du Thibet.   Jean-Baptiste Bourguignon Anville; La Haye: Henri Scheurleer. 1737. 

Jean-Baptiste Du Halde (1674–1743) was a French Jesuit in Paris who collected and edited all the materials that the French Jesuits in China sent him. The map remained the most important and influential mapping of Korea for the next century or more. He had previously produced his great account of China : 
Jean-Baptiste Du Halde S.J., (1674-1743), Description géographique, historique, chronologique, politique, et physique de l'empire de la Chine et de la Tartarie chinoise, enrichie des cartes générales et particulieres de ces pays, de la carte générale et des cartes particulieres du Thibet, & de la Corée; & ornée d'un grand nombre de figures & de vignettes gravées en tailledouce (revised edition 1736) Volume 1 ; Volume 2 ; Volume 3 ; Volume 4  [observations on Corea cover pages 529 – 560 in volume 4]

The English edition followed soon after:  The general history of China. Containing a geographical, historical, chronological, political and physical description of the empire of China, Chinese-Tartary, Corea, and Thibet. Including an exact and particular account of their customs, manners, ceremonies, religion, arts and sciences .. Done from the French of P. Du Halde. Volume 4, second edition corrected. London: John Watts. 1739. The account of Korea is in the later part of this volume.   

Read a PDF file of the account of Korea based on the records of Father