17th Century Maps, 18th Century Maps, American Maps, Copperplate, Engraving, Maps

Carte de la Californie

We have a great find to share with you today- a copper engraving illustrating the cartograhic depiction of California over time. Carte de la Californie, by Didier Robert de Vaugondy, was published in Diderot and d’Alembert Encyclopaedie supplement, in Paris, 1770-79. This famous composite map illustrates conceptions of California over two centuries. From right to left, it shows the California coast as depicted by an Italian map of 1604, Sanson in 1656, Delisle in 1700, Father Kino in 1705, and the Jesuits in 1767. Only Sanson’s map portrays California as island, although most maps over nearly a hundred-year period did the same. It was the Jesuit priest Kino who proved the island concept false by walking from the mainland to the California coast. But this map was not generally accepted, and in 1747, King Ferdinand VII of Spain was compelled to issue a formal decree that California is not an island.

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