Maps of Early Colonial America

Portolan atlas of 9 charts and a world map. Manuscript, pen-and-ink and watercolor, on vellum, by Battista Agnese ca. 1544. Dedicated to Hieronymus Ruffault, Abbot of St. Vaast. Each double-page illumination (col. diagrs., col. maps) 21 x 29 cm. Compass rose on inside back cover. "Maps 1, 2, and 10 show America. No. 1 shows the Gulf of California which Ulloa discovered in 1539. On the same map Yucatan is shown as an island, and the east and west coasts of North and South America are only partially shown. On no. 2, the east coasts of North and South America are shown in their entirety and the west coasts only partially. Clumps of trees in green and gold are shown on no. 1, near the Noluccas, and on no. 2, in the Brazilian region of South America. The oval world map (no. 10) shows Magellan's route around the world and a route from Spain to Peru. The 12 wind cherubs on this map are named." -- Ristow and Skelton, Nautical charts on vellum in the Library of Congress, 1977. DIGITAL ID: g3200m gct00001 URL: SOURCE: Library of Congress Geography and Map Division Washington, D.C.
1544 Agnese vbg - bg
1544 Agnese

North and South America with the adjacent seas by Diego Gutiérrez 1562. Originally printed in 6 sections on sheet 93 x 86 cm. Featured in LC Map Collection Discovery and Exploration: "In 1562 Diego Gutierrez, a Spanish cartographer from the respected Casa de la Contratación , and Hieronymus Cock, a noted engraver from Antwerp, collaborated in the preparation of a spectacular and ornate map of what was then referred to as the fourth part of the world, America. It was the largest engraved map of America to that time. Substantial mystery surrounds this map more than four hundred years after its creation. Confusion over its authorship, the location of its printing, and the reasons even for its preparation remains. The fact that only two known copies of this printed map are extant, one located in the Library of Congress (Washington, D.C.) and the other preserved in the British Library (London) no doubt contributes to our lack of knowledge about this valuable and authoritative depiction of Spanish dominion in its new world, America. It contains a unique title identifying America as the fourth part of the world. The map provides a richly illustrated view of an America filled with images and names that had been popularized in Europe following Columbus's 1492 voyage of discovery. Images of parrots, monkeys, mermaids, fearsome sea creatures, cannibals, Patagonian giants, and an erupting volcano in central Mexico complement the numerous settlements, rivers, mountains, and capes named. It contains one of the earliest references to California, for on it " C. California" is located on the southern tip of Baja California. The map correctly recognizes the presence of the Amazon River system, other rivers of South America, Lake Titicaca, the location of Potos? and Mexico City, Florida and the greater southeastern part of the United States, and myriad coastal features of South, Central, North, and Caribbean America. It was to be the largest printed Spanish map of America to appear before the late eighteenth century. The April 3, 1559 Treaty of Cateau Cambr?sis between Spain and France is a key event in the map's preparation. That treaty and another signed on April 2, 1559 between France and England are known collectively as the Peace of Cateau Cambresis. Those treaties contained the most comprehensive agreements drawn up before the Peace of Westphalia in the seventeenth century, thus effectively establishing legal and political status quo for Western Europe for ninety years. Concluded with the treaty was a French-Spanish agreement, namely the marriage of Elizabeth of Valois, daughter of Henry II, King of France, to Philip II in the summer of 1559. The marriage alliance between the two kingdoms is possibly an explanation for the very close positioning of the coats of arms of Spain and France on the Gutierrez map. An apparent oral agreement between French and Spanish negotiators at Cateau Cambresis concluded that the geographical parameters of the treaty were not to extend to non-European areas, for example, in America, where the French claimed the right to trade, which Spain denied. 1562 map of America was not intended to be a scientifically or navigationally exacting document, although it was of large scale and remained the largest map of America for a century. It was, rather, a ceremonial map, a diplomatic map, as identified by the coats of arms proclaiming possession. Through the map, Spain proclaimed to the nations of Western Europe its American territory, clearly outlining its sphere of control, not by degrees, but with the appearance of a very broad line for the Tropic of Cancer clearly drawn on the map. The Gutierrez map of America has rarely gained the recognition and the study that it deserves. Perhaps its uniqueness, with only two known copies extant, has contributed to its relative obscurity in cartographic literature."
DIGITAL ID: g3290 ct000342
URL: g3290 .ct000342
SOURCE: Library of Congress Geography and Map Division Washington, D.C
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1562 Gutierrez cu1 - bg

Circumnavigation of The Globe by Jodocus Hondius (1563-1611) Vera Totius Expeditionis Nauticae . . . . Possibly Amsterdam, ca. 1595 Hand-colored engraving. Published by noted Dutch cartographer Jodocus Hondius, this elaborate double-hemisphere world map records the first English circumnavigation of the globe by Sir Francis Drake (1577-1580), as well as that of his countryman Thomas Cavendish a few years later (1586-1588). The map portrays the outlines of continents leaving the interiors blank, suggesting that the land areas were left unexplored. The marginalia includes the Elizabethan coat-of-arms, a vignette of Drake's ship the Golden Hind, and four corner illustrations. The drawing in the upper-left corner shows Drake's landing at Nova Albion in present-day California. URL: SOURCE: Library of Congress Geography and Map Division Washington, D.C.
1595 Hondius - 2

revised 3/1/04 by Schoenherr | Map list