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[Map and views illustrating Sir Francis Drake's West Indian voyage, 1585-6].

[Map and views illustrating Sir Francis Drake's West Indian voyage, 1585-6].



The first engraving is a map of Drake's voyage [showing Europe, western Africa, northern South America, and eastern North America]; the four other engravings consist of bird's-eye battle plan views of the cities of Santiago, Santo Domingo, Cartagena, and St. Augustine, Florida.
4 bird's-eye views and 1 map.
Relief shown pictorially on bird's-eye views.
Voyage map in English; city maps in Latin.
Title supplied by cataloger.
Map and views created to illustrate Bigges' and Croftes' Summarie and true discourse of Sir Frances Drake's West Indian voyage, 1589.
Provenance: Gift of Jay I. Kislak Foundation.
Orientation varies.
Kraus, H.P. Sir Francis Drake, p. 121-7
Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as a raster image.
Includes hand col. ill.
Select features alphabetically indexed on bird's-eye views, views not accompanied by index key.
"The verso of each sheet is numbered in ink in an identical early hand "1 [through] 5" in the following sequence: 1. 'Voyadge', 2. S. Domingo, 3. Cartagena, 4. S. Augustine, 5. Santiago."--Auction catalog.
All sheets vertically fold-lined at center.
Kislak accession no. 1991.322.01.0003
Kislak accession no. 1991.322.02.0003
Kislak accession no. 1991.322.03.0003
Kislak accession no. 1991.322.04.0003
Kislak accession no. 1991.322.05.0003

Pre - 1600s maps, atlases and manuscripts

In the late sixteenth century, French, English and Dutch merchant and privateer ships began attacking Spanish and Portuguese in West Indies coastal areas. They had bases in the places the Spanish could not conquer, such as the Lesser Antilles, the northern coast of South America, the mouth of the Orinoco, and the Atlantic Coast of Central America. They managed to establish their foot on St Kitts in 1624 and Barbados in 1626. When the Sugar Revolution took off, they brought in thousands of African slaves to work the fields and mills. English, Dutch, French and Spanish colonists, and in many cases their slaves from Africa first entered and then occupied the coast of The Guianas. The Dutch, allied with the Caribs of the Orinoco carried the fight against Spanish in all South America. The English of Jamaica established alliances with the Miskito Kingdom of modern-day Nicaragua and Honduras, and began logging on the coast of modern-day Belize. These interconnected commercial and diplomatic relations made up the Western Caribbean Zone which was in place in the early eighteenth century. West Indies gave names to several West India companies of the 17th and 18th centuries, including the Danish West India Company, the Dutch West India Company, the French West India Company, and the Swedish West India Company.

Ancient Maps from the Library of Congress. 13th -18th Century Maps.

The geography discoveries and the new printing techniques resulted in maps that can be cheaply produced. Since a globe remains the only accurate way of representing the spherical earth, and any flat representation resulted in distorted projection. In 1569, Mercator published a map of the world specifically intended as an aid to navigation. It used a projection now known by Mercator's name, though it has been used by few others before him, based on a system of latitude and longitude that dated back to Hipparchus. Mercator's projection greatly enlarged territories as they recede from the equator. The distortion of Mercator's projection is a benefit to navigators since Mercator achieves a matching scale for longitude and latitude in every section of the map. A compass course can be plotted at the same angle on any part of Mercator's map. As a result marine charts still use this projection. By the time of his death in 1595, Mercator has either published or prepared large engraved maps, designed for binding into volume form, of France, Germany, Italy, the Balkans, and the British Isles. Mercator's son issues the entire series under the title "Atlas": "Atlas sive Cosmographicae Meditationes." The name becomes the word for a volume of maps.





Boazio, Baptista.
Bigges, Walter, -1586.
Croftes, Lieutenant.
Jay I. Kislak Collection (Library of Congress)




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