Today we are sharing three new additions to our extensive map inventory. These maps focus on the American Southeast, and when viewed together show the growth in both settlements and cartographic knowledge of the area. All of the maps have been added to our website and can be viewed and purchased in our Washington DC gallery.
One of the most desirable early small maps of the American Southeast. The cartography is based upon the larger Mercator-Hondius 1606 map, which was the most important map of the region until Ogilby’s 1671 map of Carolina. The area shown is from St. Augustine, Florida north to the Chesapeake Bay. John Smith’s firsthand information was not yet available, so the Chesapeake as shown bears little resemblance to its actual geography. This map was first issued by Jodocus Hondius, appearing in his “Atlas Minor”. In the early 1620’s, the original copper plates were obtained by several London booksellers and were reprinted in “Purchas his Pilgrimes” (1624-26) and “Historia Mundi or Mercators Atlas.” (1635, 37 and 39). This particular impression appeared in the 1637 edition of “Historia Mundi” published by Michael Sparke. Sparke supplemented the original titles with English titles in the left margin. This example also has one leaf of accompanying descriptive text in English.
This is a finely engraved 18th century map of the Carolinas and Georgia, covering the region between Albemarle Sound and the Altamaha River. It is by French hydrographer and geographer Jacques N. Bellin, for La Harpe’s “Abrege de l’Histoire generale des voyages”. The publication was a wonderful French produced, small-sized atlas that depicts many parts of the known world. Shown are numerous English settlements along the coast and Indian villages throughout, including a number west of the Appalachian Mountains. In a change from earlier maps, several rivers and settlements west of the Blue Ridge are now identified and mapped.
This colorful 19th century map of the Southeastern United States is Plate No. 57 from Philippe M. Vandermaelen’s “Atlas Universel”, which was the first commercial atlas printed using lithography as the printing medium. It was also the first atlas of the world with all maps on the same scale (printed at the unusually large-scale of about one inch to 26 miles). Vandermaelen constructed the sheets as a portion of a single projection, so that they could theoretically be pasted onto a large sphere to make a terrestrial globe. Although no one would feasibly do this, because of its immense size, Princeton University Rare Map division has digitized every map in “Atlas Universal” and has created a virtual globe. From the library’ website:
“The library’s Digital Studio joined in our project to digitize the sheets so that they could be made available, in high-resolution, over the web. In addition, because of the projection of the maps, we felt that stitching the continental maps together and wrapping their “skin” over a generic globe would provide a unique viewing experience–creating a virtual 3D version of Vandermaelen’s physical globe.” See the virtual globe via this link.
The particular map shows an area extending from North Carolina to Northern Florida. In Georgia, a large area is set aside for the Creek Indians.