|Reproduction only for non-commercial use.||
© May 2005; revised 7 August 2006
This is the 1st of five Gallery Exhibits on color and/or modern reproductions of the “Velasco Map” of 1610/11. Links to related exhibits are located at the bottom of this page.
|Color and/or modern reproductions of
the “Velasco Map” I
Isaac Stokes, 1916
|“The Velasco Map (1610).” Photo-intaglio reproduction of a copy of the original held by the Archivo General de Simancas, Valladolid, Spain.
Reproduced as the frontispiece (Plate C.22) for section I (“Cartography”) of vol. II of The Iconography of Manhattan Island, 14981909, by Isaac Stokes.
View an enlarged 2650 x 1884 pixel JPG image (1MB)
|<||Grayscale detail of section from Velasco Map of 1610/11, delineating Captain Henry Hudson’s discoveries.
C. Pl. 22A for ch. 2, “Hudson’s Mapping of the Vicinity of Manhattan Island”, pp. 4161 in vol. II of The Iconography of Manhattan Island, 14981909, by Isaac Stokes.
Note the numbers (37 through 43) calling out latitudes on the vertical grid line to the east of the Hudson River. This grid line, which is alternately colored red and blue in the original (making it thicker than the other grid lines on the map), is missing from the first printing of the Velasco Map, as given in Brown (item CLVIII).
View an enlarged 1140 x 1485 pixel JPG image (347KB)
|“The Virginia Company Chart, 160608.” Photo-intaglio reproduction of ms. map in the Stokes collection.
Reproduced as Plate C.21A in vol. II of The Iconography of Manhattan Island, 14981909, by Isaac Stokes.
View an enlarged 2570 x 1465 pixel JPG image (591KB)
Stokes’ The Iconography of Manhattan Island includes the first modern reproduction, subsequent to Alexander Brown’s discovery and printing in 1890, of the now-controversial Velasco Map, which Stokes dates to 1610.
There are several discrepancies between the Velasco Map as originally printed in black and white by Brown, and the full-color version printed by Stokes 26 years later. Stokes himself comments on one of these concerning the delineation of the Hudson River area noting that “the tracing made by Alexander Brown, and published in his Genesis” does not reproduce “the shoals which [Juet] mentions before the entrance to the Narrows” of Rockaway Inlet (“generally considered to be the third of the three great rivers mentioned by Juet”). While acknowledging that Rockaway Inlet is not shown on any version of the Velasco Map, Stokes notes that its shoals “are very conspicuously figured” on the original manuscript map. “[T]his distinctive feature,” missing from Brown’s reproduction,
MapHist list members have noticed other features missing from Brown’s tracing (most obviously, the color, including the all-important blue signifying “the relations of the Indians,” and Brown’s uncertainty concerning the blue’s placement and coverage; the multi-colored, heavy, vertical grid line with numbered callouts to the east of the Hudson River; and several small land masses to the east of the island in the southeastern portion of Lake Ontario). None of these omissions (other than the color) are mentioned by Stokes, nor does Stokes offer any explanation for what may be construed as errors (or at best, surprising interpretive license) on the part of Brown, the scholar
In his detailed “Description” of the Velasco Map, vol. ii, pp. 1356 a transcript of which I have now added below, thanks to the prompting of David Allen (MapHist list), who recently brought it to my attention Stokes describes the original ms. map as
the whole measuring 81 by 111 centimeters. According to Stokes, Brown, who may or may not have viewed the Simancas original firsthand, worked from a “tracing” when preparing the artwork (as I understand it, engraved) for his published Genesis of the United States. Stokes describes this tracing (then in the collection of the New York Public Library’s Division of Mss.) as a
Since Brown’s printing of this tracing, in reduced size, was “uncoloured,” and Stokes’ own interpretation of the map centers on its unique color coding, Stokes does not comment further on the accuracy of Brown’s reproduction.
Stokes’ own reproduction of the Velasco Map, in colors (C. Pl. 22), along with the large-scale detail (C. Pl. 22A), are described by him as
I first interpreted the following to mean that Stokes, too, had worked from a copy of the map:
But in his “Map List and Descriptions 15001700” (see transcription below) Stokes lists no modern copy of the Velasco Map other than Brown’s incorrectly-colored tracing. Presumably, the “colour work” done by Don Juan Montero Conde was not done to a copy of the map, but had something to do with color corrections involved in the process of photo-intaglio reproduction.
Other modern printings subsequent to that of Stokes, such as the reproduction given in Cumming, Skelton and Quinn’s The Discovery of North America, deviate somewhat in the boldness or hue of the map’s colors, and David Allen of the MapHist list has pointed out the possibility of ongoing confusion between the blue and green (as Stokes complained about in the tracing done for Alexander Brown):
Color fidelity was especially important for Stokes, given his unique interpretation of the Velasco Map as conveying new intelligence of “great importance” especially of the region “between Cape Charles and the western extremity of Long Island, including the course of the Hudson River” gathered by Hudson during his third voyage to North America in 1609:
This interpretation of the Velasco Map relies heavily on its colored shading:
Elsewhere, Stokes describes the “main colours of the map” as yellow and green, with blue delineating
This confirmation that the Velasco Map’s depiction of the area around Lake Ontario was indeed based on “the relations of the Indians” does nothing to resolve questions raised by MapHist list members about how
Yet another question concerning the Velasco Map’s authenticity, originally raised by David Allen
was addressed by Stokes in the note on p. 135 where
I agree with David here. The use of French-made paper in early 17th-century London has been well documented by those such as Harold Bailey, who has located the traces of a primitive Gnostic symbolism in the emblematic printers’ marks and paper-marks associated with the Huguenot-run paper mills (and Bailey argues that in Europe, paper-making was primarily a French art, introduced into England and Scotland by French refugees).
When used as a watermark, the bunch of grapes for Bailey a “thought-fossil” (or “thought-crystal”) rooted in 13th-century mysticism, and “fostered by the pre-Reformation Protestant sects known in France as the Albigeois and Vaudois, and in Italy as the Cathari or Patarini” most often symbolized “His Vineyard or the Holy Grail.”
It is not at all surprising that what Robert Hooke (a connoisseur of all French inventions having to do with engraving, etching, printing, copying, and mapping) later in the century called “the Noble French Paper” would be used for the Velasco copy of the map of 1610, and perhaps even for the English original presented to James I.
Stokes, like Brown before him, is unable to identify the English author of the 1610 original of the Velasco Map “the mysterious unknown explorer of 1610” sent by James I “to survey that Province” in North America by which the English sought a new passage to the South Sea, or the Sea of Verrazzano (“the oriental sea ... which is the one without doubt which goes about the extremity of India, China and Cathay,” as misconceived in a letter from the Florentine explorer, Giovanni da Verrazzano, to Francis I, king of France, 8 July 1524). Like Brown, Stokes is prepared to “hazard a suggestion”:
John Daniel (aka Daniell), fl. 161242, was a well-known chart- or “plat”-maker, with premises near St Katherine’s Dock, by the Iron Gate at the south-east corner of the Tower of London. According to E.G.R. Taylor,
The connection to Sir Robert Dudley, whose 16467 Dudley Map of Virginia set new standards of accuracy with its “correct naming and location of the York and Rappahannock Rivers and of Capes May and James” (Coolie Verner, 284n3), is suggestive. Perhaps Daniel, along with expert mariners John Davis and Abraham Kendall, was a man of learning and experience, or as Dudley phrased it, “Mathematici e Filosofi,” capable of abstracting collective intelligence into a visual tour de force such as we find in the Velasco Map.
Stokes’ arguments about the Velasco Map (see transcription below) are bolstered, he believes, by its close relation to the Virginia Company Chart, which probably “antedates the Velasco Map,” causing Stokes to date it 160608.
This map is Stokes’ own discovery, which he prints for the first time in 1916, while admitting
If the Virginia Company Chart is, indeed, authentic, it offers further cartographic evidence of an English style of mapping, associated with the Virginia Company, that answers some of the questions MapHist list members have raised about the Velasco Map.
As glossed by Stokes (see below transcription),
Latitudes were of great importance to the English, who in 1605 challenged the spirit of the law as decreed in the Papal Bulls giving all “discoveries” west and south of Spain to Spain and Portugal. Papal law ceded to England American land that was north, northeast, and northwestward of England, thus limiting the English “to a region too cold and desolate to encourage settlement.” The usual cutoff was 44° north latitude, below which the English were not to extend.
Nonetheless, England planted its first Virginian colony “in some fit and convenient place” between 34° to 41° N. Lat., with the royal charter granting Virginia Company planters fifty miles north and fifty miles south of said location, as well as one hundred miles to sea and one hundred miles within land. A second Virginian colony was soon authorized between 38° and 45° north latitude, and similarly granted fifty miles north and fifty miles south of said location, etc. In addition, colonists with the two Virginia Companies (North and South) were prohibited from planting within one hundred miles of each other.
These important latitudes were even taught to schoolboys. In Abbot’s Geography (aka A Briefe Description of the whole world), a textbook written by George Abbot (afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury) while master of University College, Oxford, we read:
So the explicit markings on both the Virginia Company Chart and the Velasco Map of the all-important latitudes is not surprising, even if it may have been somewhat unusual at the time.
In addition to the numbered grid which both maps have in common, Stokes observes that
Stokes tells us that the Virginia Company Chart
Unfortunately, he does not reproduce this map in color, but in grayscale, which does little to allay suspicions about the map’s authenticity.
(from Stokes, The Iconography of Manhattan Island,
“Map List and Descriptions”
“THE VELASCO-MAP (1610). Anonymous English manuscript chart of the east coast of North America from Cape Fear to Newfoundland, the whole of which island is included. To the north the south coast of Labrador is delineated, as well as the course of the St. Lawrence, which springs from a large lake, the western shore of which is not given.
“Drawn in colours on four sheets of paper pasted together.
“81 by 111 centimetres.
“This map, discovered by Alexander Brown in 188, inaugurates the era of exploration in the vicinity of Manhattan Island, and probably embodies the cartographical results of Hudson’s third voyage, in which he discovered Hudson River.
“It is the earliest document giving the names ‘Manahata’ and ‘Manahatin,’ and was sent by Don Alonso de Velasco, Spanish Ambassador in London, to the King of Spain, along with a letter in cipher, dated March 22, 1611.
“In this letter Velasco calls it a copy of a plan or map of the English province in America, presented to King James by a surveyor sent out by the English King in the preceding year to survey that province, and adds that it contains all that could be discovered by this surveyor, who had returned three months before Velasco wrote this letter.
“The main colours of the map are yellow and green. For their distribution we refer to the reproduction in colours. (C. Pl. 22 Frontispiece.)
“The two great lakes, a short river connecting the Hudson with the more westerly lake, and the inland course of the Susquehannah and of two smaller rivers flowing into Chesapeake Bay are in blue. An inscription on the map reads: ‘All the blue is dune by the relations of the Indians.’
“The coast on both sides of Delaware Bay and between the Delaware and Hudson River, both banks of the Hudson and of the Tahanock River in Maine, and a number of islands are coloured a dark reddish brown.
“A part of the southern bank of the St. Lawrence and the coast from about the Isle of Claudia to Cape Cod are coloured a light reddish brown.
“The coast east of the Hudson River, between the two shades of reddish brown, is shown in sepia.
“The water-mark in the paper is a bunch of grapes and the name P. Quemet. Both details are illustrated by C. M. Briquet in Les Filigranes, Paris 1907, Vol. IV, No. 13216, where the fact is established that this paper was used from 1604 to 1611 in Narbonne. The name of P. Quemet, apparently the manufacturer of the paper, is not known elsewhere.
“The many large and small islands seem to have been arbitrarily coloured, mostly reddish brown.
“In the sea there is a set of 48 references to ‘Names of townes one the Riuers in the Chessepiock Bay.’
“REFERENCES: Alexander Brown, Genesis of the United States. London, 1890, Vol. I, pp. 455-60. Transcripts from the original documents, made for Mr. Brown, and translations of which are found in his book, are now preserved in the Division of Manuscripts of the N. Y. Pub. Lib., the gift of Mr. George L. Rives.
“Id., The first Republic in America. Boston, 1898, pp. 1467.
“Mrs. Schuyler van Rensselaer, History of the City of New York in the XVIIth Century. New York, 1909. Vol. I, p. 19.
“Edward Hagaman Hall, Henry Hudson and the Discovery of the Hudson River, in: Fifteenth Annual Report, 1910, of the American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society. Albany, 1910, p. 301.
“REPRODUCTIONS: Pen and ink and coloured chalk copy, on tracing paper, mounted on fine muslin, in N. Y. Pub. Lib. (See Bulletin Vol. V, No. 2, Feb. 1911, p. 60.) The colours of this copy are in part incorrect, and therefore misleading. (See p. 59, n.)
“Reduced, from the above described tracing, uncoloured, in Brown’s Genesis, opposite p. 456.
“Our reproduction, in colours, (C. Pl. 22) and our detail on large scale (C. Pl. 22A) are the first and only photographic reproductions of the original.”
(from Stokes, The Iconography of Manhattan Island,
“In view of the knowledge of the East Coast which we now know Hudson possessed before his third voyage, and of the information which he obtained as a result of his explorations on that voyage, we cannot but see a close connection between him and a map dating from this period, which depicts very minutely his discoveries.<42a> This very important document is known as the ‘VELASCO MAP,’ and was discovered in 188 by Alexander Brown, in the Simancas Archives (C. Pls. 22 and 22A).<43> This map, which depicts the eastern coast of North America, was copied from a map brought home, apparently about December, 1610,<43a> by a surveyor sent to America by King James I. On the original map, this surveyor had evidently delineated all the cartographical information he was able to acquire. The copy was procured in some way by the Spanish Ambassador in London, Don Alonso de Velasco, and was sent by him to the Spanish King, on March 22, 1611, apparently some three months after the surveyor had returned to England. The map was accompanied by a letter in cipher, from which the following extract has been taken.
“The exact words used by Velasco in his letter to the King are:
“The Spanish words ‘y abra tres meses que boluio’ are somewhat ambiguous. They may be interpreted to mean that the surveyor returned about three months before Velasco wrote his letter which we accept as by far the most likely meaning or that he returned after having been away about three months, which translation can, however, I believe, be disregarded, as it is not possible that three months would have sufficed for so long a journey and the preparation of such a chart. It is conceivable that what is meant is that the explorer returned three months after having completed his survey, but this would be a far-fetched and, on the whole, improbable rendering.
“If the unknown explorer of 1610 did not return to England in the ‘Dainty’ in December, three months before Velasco wrote his letter to the Spanish King, the connection between Hudson and the original of the Velasco Map would require some other explanation than the one which we are about to set forth.
“Although we do not know how this map came into Velasco’s hands, it appears from other documents in the Simancas Archives, that he had sent spies to Virginia, or, at least, that he intended to do so, in May, 1611;<45> from which fact we may assume that he had done so before. We know also that he had received very early information concerning Hudson’s last voyage, and was expected to investigate this matter more fully.<46>
“The Velasco Map delineates the coast from Newfoundland to Virginia, including within its limits Newfoundland, the south coast of Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, the territory surrounding the St. Lawrence as far as the Great Lakes, Maine, New England, New York, New Jersey, and Virginia.
“The representation of Newfoundland, Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and the St. Lawrence presents no features of particular interest, but reproduces the characteristics of these parts as they were commonly represented at the time. It is, however, quite another matter with the coasts occupied by the English New England and Virginia, and the still unoccupied stretch between these two English settlements. We see at a glance that here it is the author’s intention to give the results of the most recent explorations, and a careful examination brings out the very interesting fact that, on this map, the tract explored by Hudson is accurately given.
“Examining the entire coast-line, beginning with Penobscot Bay, we find several names given originally by the first explorers of these regions: as, for instance, the Island of St. George,<47> so named by Popham in 1607;<48> the river Sagadahoc,<49> deriving its name from Weymouth in 1605; ‘Whitson’s Hed’ and Whitson’s Bay, the original names bestowed upon Cape Cod and its bay by Pring, in 1603;<50> and Cape Cod, the name given to Cape Malabar, in 1602, by Gosnold,<51> who also named ‘Marthaes Viniard’ and ‘Elizabeth Island,’<52> all three of which names are on the Velasco Map. Even the cross, possibly erected by Weymouth, at the bend of the Tahanock, June 13, 1605, is shown on this map.<53> There are also some new forms; for example, Pemaquid, named thus by Weymouth, in 1605,<54> is called ‘Tahanock’ on the Velasco Map, and the Penobscot, mentioned by this name by Popham, in 1607,<55> here reappears as ‘R. Pemerogat.’ Other names given in the journals of these discoverers are here omitted, such as Gosnoll’s Island,<56> Gosnoll’s Hope,<57> Segohquet (Popham, 1607),<58> the province of Sabino, mentioned by Strachey in the year 1607,<59> and Semianis, referred to by Gilbert in 1607.<60> On the other hand, several names appear on the Velasco Map which are not recorded in earlier documents: for instance, ‘I. haute,’<61> ‘Iles Basses,’ etc.
“The newly discovered Virginia Company Chart is on a much smaller scale than the Velasco Map, but even under these circumstances it affords important points of comparison, both in the direction of the coast-line and in the names. We [find] on it, for instance, C. Cod, Whitson’s bay, the island of Claudia, and Sagadahoc, although nearly all of these names are in corrupted form, probably an indication that it is a copy; in which case it is fair to assume that the original was in even closer accord with the Velasco Map.
“Although it cannot be positively asserted that the Virginia Company Chart antedates the Velasco Map, its priority seems, on the whole, altogether probable, especially when we assume the close connection of Hudson with both.
“As to the direction of the coast-line on these two maps, we have no basis for comparison, as the maps drawn by these earliest surveyors have for the greater part disappeared. We know that Martin Pring made a map of North Virginia, which is now lost,<62> and that Tyndall made a ‘draughte of our River,’ also lost.<63> A map of Virginia, dating from 1608, and one of the same date, by Tyndall, of the James and York Rivers, and a map of St. George Fort, by John Hunt (1607), have been preserved, and were published by Alexander Brown.<64> Alexander Brown notes<65> that the delineation of Virginia on the Velasco Map is identical with that on the first engraved map of that country, made by William Hole for Captain John Smith, in 1612, and he is strongly of the opinion that the two were copied from originals drawn by the same draughtsman perhaps Smith himself, or a surveyor who worked for him.
“There remains to be considered the portion of the Velasco Map lying between Virginia and New England. Here we find Delaware Bay partly delineated, the entrance at about 39° N.L.; at 40° the entrance to a river stretching to the south-west; and, at about 40° 30', a very striking picture of New York Bay, in which one large island is figured, and into which three rivers empty, one of which, extending to the north-north-east, and later to the north, is delineated nearly as far as 43° N.L. A tributary, joining this river at that point, springs from a great lake at a point midway between the 43d and 44th parallels.
“This whole stretch, which is shown here with much accuracy of detail, does not appear on any earlier map, and there can be no reasonable doubt that it represents the results of Hudson’s discoveries, agreeing as it does, in every essential particular, with the journal of Juet, even to the indefinite outline of Delaware Bay, which, it will be remembered, Juet tells us, Hudson had no opportunity thoroughly to explore, owing to its many shoals, and because of the lack of ‘a small pinasse.’<66> The entrance to a river, which is seen between Delaware and New York Bays, evidently depicts one of the many inlets which exist along that coast, probably Barnegat Inlet.<67> Sandy Hook is very conspicuous on the Velasco Map, and it will be remembered that this point acquired a special interest on Hudson’s voyage, as the ‘Half-Moon’ anchored during five days in its vicinity, and as here was buried the first member of the ship’s company to be slain by the Indians.<68>
“The three rivers flowing into the Outer Bay, and the other features depicted on the map, correspond pretty accurately with Juet’s description.<69> It is true that the map clearly indicates the insularity of Staten Island, which is not mentioned by Juet; but it is, I think, fair to assume that Hudson learned of its insularity from the Indians. So prominent a feature in the foreground of his view, during his five days’ sojourn near Sandy Hook, could hardly have escaped his curiosity, and we know that during this period he was in constant communication with the natives, and may even have penetrated the Raritan River and the Arthur Kill, during one of the sounding expeditions referred to by Juet.
“We must remember that our theory brings the Velasco Map into connection with Hudson, and not with Juet. We know that Juet’s Journal did not always agree with Hudson’s record, but we may, I think, safely assume that such minor discrepancies as exist would disappear if we but knew the contents of Hudson’s own log.
“The hypothesis of deriving the picture of the Lower Bay on the Velasco Map from Hudson’s explorations, is supported by the fact that the first Dutch map delineating this bay (the Figurative Map of Adriaen Block, drawn in 1614; C. Pl. 23) gives pretty nearly the same representation of it as is found on the Velasco Map. The coincidence can be explained only by assuming that the original from which the Velasco Map was copied, and the map from which Adriaen Block took his picture, had the same origin. Adriaen Block may have used a rough draft, sent over by Hudson to Holland before his papers were confiscated and he himself was detained in England.<70> Hence, in England, there could be only one map resembling that draft, namely, Hudson’s finished map, retained by the authorities.
“Although Rockaway Inlet, generally considered to be the third of the three great rivers mentioned by Juet, is not shown on the Velasco Map, the shoals which he mentions before the entrance to the Narrows are very conspicuously figured. On the tracing made by Alexander Brown, and published in his Genesis, this distinctive feature is not reproduced. It came to light only through a personal examination of the original map in the Simancas Archives. Our Plate C. 22A, which gives a reproduction of Hudson’s discoveries as portrayed on the Velasco Map, explains this point for the first time. Manhattan Island did not appear, as such, on the Velasco Map, although the two names, ‘Manahata’ and ‘Manahatin,’ are there found, respectively, on the west and east shores of the Hudson, the latter near the head of the Upper Bay, at about the point where Manhattan Island actually lies. It is not strange that Hudson should have failed to recognise the insularity of Manhattan, as the entrance to the Harlem River has, even to-day, nothing to suggest a strait separating the Island from the mainland. It is, however, difficult to account for the fact that he did not notice the mouth of the East River, or, at least, did not record it, although on a close examination of our full-size facsimile of this part of the Velasco Map, we see two inlets on the eastern bank of the river, the northern one being somewhat below 41°, which corresponds with the true latitude of Harlem River. We may, perhaps, recognise in these two inlets the Harlem and East Rivers; the stretch of land between the two being, then, the western shore of Manhattan Island.
“The course of the Hudson River, as depicted on the map, offers an even more striking resemblance to Juet’s description, and corresponds so closely with its real course that it must have been drawn here after very careful observations.
“We notice especially the green mountains, depicted on the map at about 41° 20', and corresponding with Juet’s ‘Streight betweene two points,’ reached on September 14th, where there was ‘very high land on both sides.’ This point is described by Moulton as situated ‘between Stony and Verplanck Points near Peekskill,’ which is at 41° 25'.
“From Juet’s detailed description, we see that Hudson was very desirous of recording the course of the river in all its essential detail, and it is very suggestive and noteworthy that the river is shown in detail on the Velasco Map, almost exactly up to the point that must have been reached by Hudson’s small boat, which, Juet tells us, continued to the ‘end of the river’s navigablenesse,’ about eight or nine leagues above the spot where the ‘Half-Moon’ was halted by shallow water. The northern limit reached by the ‘Half-Moon’ is given by Van Meteren as 42° 40', although the point is generally believed to have been a few minutes farther north, at about 42° 48', or just above Cohoes and the confluence of the Mohawk River, which confluence is plainly shown on the Velasco Map.
“But by far the most suggestive and [striking] point of resemblance between the Velasco Map and Juet’s Journal is the fact that, on this whole section of the map, no names are found, except ‘Manahata’ and ‘Manahatin,’ and that in Juet’s description, with the sole exception of Colman’s Point, no other name is given than ‘Mannahata,’<71> which, as on the Velasco Map, is described as situated on the west bank of the river, and not on the east, where it was later located by the Dutch.<72>
“As an additional point of similarity between the Velasco Map and Hudson’s route, as described by Juet, attention is called to the location of Cape Malabar by the latter, in 40° 10' N.L., which Purchas, in a marginal note, corrects to 41° 10';<73> and also to the fact that Purchas gives to it the name of Cape Cod. On the Velasco Map, Cape Cod (which is our Cape Malabar) is in 41°, though its real latitude is 42° 4'. Asher, who was ignorant of the existence of the Velasco Map, nevertheless supposed that the Cape Cod of Juet might be identical with our Cape Malabar. De Laet says that Hudson found after his ‘besteck’ (a route-line drawn on a map) that Cape Cod (Cape Malabar) lay seventy-five Dutch miles more to the west than it was put on all maps.<74> With the possible exception of the Virginia Company Chart, I have not found any map antedating that of Velasco, which gives the name of Cape Cod, a name which was bestowed by Gosnold in 1602; but on Briggs’s map, published in 1625, as on the Virginia Company Chart, where it corresponds with Cape Malabar, it is shown lying nearly due north of the Bermudas, or about five degrees farther to the east than it should be which distance, it will be noted, corresponds to the seventy-five Dutch miles referred to by De Laet. Cape Malabar lies, in reality, five and a half degrees to the east of Cape Hatteras; on the Velasco Map, somewhat less than six degrees, consequently nearly in its proper place. It is, therefore, shown on the Velasco Map in accordance with the corrected survey of Hudson; and this fact affords strong additional evidence that the Velasco Map is in some way connected with him.
“The name ‘Manahatin,’ on the eastern shore of the river, was perhaps put in by the surveyor by whom the original of the Velasco Map was made. This form is very suggestive, and perhaps was intended to denote the territory of the island itself. Tooker, before the Velasco Map was made known by Alexander Brown, explained Manhattan as a compound, consisting of ‘Manah’-island, and ‘atin’-hill.<75> If this is not a mere coincidence, we may say that the name of Manhattan Island appears for the first time on the Velasco Map.<76>
“There remains still to be accounted for the delineation, shown on the Velasco Map, of the small section of coast including the southern shore of Long Island and the mainland between its most eastern point and Cape Cod. Juet says very distinctly that Hudson, after leaving New York Bay, sailed directly to England, without sighting any land; accordingly Hudson cannot be considered as the author of the information given on this part of the map.
“The direction and conformation of this coast-line seem to show that the outline was not filled in arbitrarily; the form of Long Island, especially, being distinctly discernible, although Long Island Sound is not shown. In this connection, it will be remembered, Dermer, in 1619, stated that ‘heretofore’ Long Island ‘was taken for mayne.’<77>
“Who, then, was the surveyor of this important map? It cannot have been Argall. Though Strachey tells us that he explored the coast between Cape Malabar and Chesapeake Bay,<78> it appears, from Argall’s own journal of his voyage, from June 19 to August 31, 1610, that he did not see anything of the coast between Cape Malabar and Delaware Bay;<79> and, as Argall carefully explored this bay, he would undoubtedly have given a better picture of it than we find on the Velasco Map. It seems, then, that Strachey’s statement should be applied only to Argall’s explorations in the neighbourhood of Delaware Bay.
“It also seems evident that the mysterious surveyor, whoever he was, sailed along the coast from west to east, and thus overlooked the eastern entrance to Long Island Sound. If Argall really had sailed along this coast, going westward from Cape Malabar, as Strachey says he did, it seems hardly likely that he could have missed Long Island Sound.
“Where, then, shall we look for the author of this connecting link? If Alexander Brown, who discovered the Velasco Map, and who for several years occupied himself particularly in collecting all available documents and information relating to these early explorations, could not identify the surveyor referred to by Velasco, it is not strange that we have not been more fortunate. I may, however, hazard a suggestion.
“There is a place where Van Meteren states that the English intended to send Hudson again to the river found by him, in order to explore it further.<80> Comparing this with the confused statements prevailing in the works of contemporary writers as to what happened immediately after Hudson’s return (Castell, in 1644, even went so far as to state that Hudson was sent again to the Hudson River by the Dutch in 1610),<81> the possibility presents itself to my mind that, when Hudson was sent to Hudson Bay, in 1610, another explorer, whose identity is at present unknown, was despatched to the region of the Hudson River, in the hope that still another river might be found on the section of coast left unexplored by Hudson between his river and Cape Malabar and that this river might lead to the Western Sea. We must suppose this explorer to have been perfectly equipped with the knowledge gathered recently by Hudson.
“There was, in fact, such a man in England at that date, a cartographer, by name John Daniel, several of whose maps are preserved in the British Museum, and in Florence in the Biblioteca Nazionale. One of the latter maps shows, in the location of the outer bay or harbour of New York, a delineation which can, almost without doubt, be traced to the Velasco Map itself, and, furthermore, gives Hudson’s name to the river on the western bank of which Manhattan is indicated (C. Pl. 34 and page 96).
“In the year 1612, the well-known Dutch cartographer Hessel Gerritsz published a book on Spitzbergen, in which he describes the most recent discoveries near the North Pole. This treatise is accompanied by a map, which, in his book, Gerritsz says was ‘taken from a map by John Daniel, compiled in London in the year 1612.’<82> On this map an ice-bank is shown, discovered by Hudson in 1608, which proves that John Daniel had obtained original information concerning Hudson’s explorations.
“I present this merely as a possible explanation. As Velasco speaks explicitly of an ‘ingeniero’ (surveyor) who was sent to America by the English King, this man was apparently no sailor, captain, or pilot; and thus Velasco’s words can be properly applied to John Daniel, about whom all that we know is that he was a map-maker.
“On the Velasco Map, it will be remembered, the Hudson River stops exactly at the most northerly point reached by Hudson; but the Mohawk, which he did not explore, is here continued till it connects with a large sea or lake, which no doubt is the sea mentioned by Popham in his letter of December 13, 1607, which letter was written from Sagadahoc to King James I, and in which he says: ‘[the natives] positively assure me, that there is a certain sea in the opposite or western part of this province, distant not more than seven days’ journey from our fort of St. George in Sagadahoc: a sea, large, wide and deep, of the boundaries of which they are wholly ignorant: which cannot be any other than the Southern Ocean, reaching to the regions of China, which unquestionably cannot be far from these parts.’<83> The Mohawk River and this great sea, on Velasco’s map, are shown in blue, which indicates, as a contemporary note on the map explains, that their delineation is based upon information obtained from the Indians.
“Adriaen Block, who, as we have remarked already,<84> probably borrowed his delineation of Lower New York Bay from a rough draft by Hudson, omits the Mohawk. This leads to one of two hypotheses: that the Mohawk was not on Hudson’s rough draft, sent over to Holland, but that he added it on his finished map, which was kept in England; or that we owe this important addition to the unknown surveyor of 1610.
“What sources, then, did the unknown surveyor use for his map? We have seen that only the small tract of coast-line from the western end of Long Island to Cape Cod was the result of his own observations; for all the other delineations on the map we can assign earlier discoverers and surveyors. There is, I think, much reason to believe that he got the information which he lacked for this map from Hudson, in whose track he sailed, shortly after Hudson’s return, and with the purpose of completing Hudson’s explorations. If, then, we omit the coast from the western end of Long Island to Cape Cod, the delineation of which tract is due to the observations of this unknown surveyor, we see in the Velasco Map a copy of the chart which Hudson brought home after his discovery of the Hudson River.
“As Hudson explored the coast only from Cape Charles to New York Bay, and as he corrected the situation of Cape Malabar, it is evident that he had with him maps (or a map) showing the other coasts as they are indicated on the Velasco Map; and, as we have shown, this map (or maps) must have closely resembled the Virginia Company Chart. Such a map (or maps) we know he actually did receive from Captain Smith of Virginia; and we know, furthermore, that Smith had at his disposal the results of the work of several surveyors in Virginia and New England, to which he had probably added surveys made by himself.<85> It is known that there were at this time several explorers and surveyors in these regions, and that, at the very moment of Hudson’s visit to New York Bay, and its great river, Champlain was only a hundred miles or so to the north, and Smith himself, about the same distance to the south.
“Finally, we must call attention to the coloured shading of the Velasco Map.<86> We have already spoken of the blue, which, as explained by a contemporary note on the map, indicates the information derived from the Indians.
“It is interesting to note that the brown outline begins at the south, almost precisely at the point (37° 45') mentioned by Van Meteren as the place where, on August 12th, the ‘Half Moon’ turned north. There is, apparently, a slight discrepancy between this and Juet’s description, where the latter speaks of sighting land in 37° 26' on the seventeenth. It is, however, well known that the latitudes given by Purchas are often at fault, the errors originating either with this compiler or from the originals which he used in this case Juet’s log. That the Velasco Map corresponds with Van Meteren, who used Hudson’s log, is another indication that it was based on Hudson’s map.
“Van Meteren also records that the ‘Half-Moon’ sailed up the river as far as 42° 40'. The map, however, shows the brown outline extending somewhat beyond 43°; but, as the last thirty miles, or thereabout, were made in the small boat, and not on the ship, this slight discrepancy is easily explained. The brown colour ends a little west of the mouth of the Hudson River, which again coincides with what we know of the extent of Hudson’s discoveries; and the section of coast from here to Cape Cod, or rather to a point somewhat beyond the eastern extremity of Long Island, which stretch, as we have seen, must have been explored by the unknown surveyor of 1610, is indicated on the map in sepia. The stretch from there to Cape Cod is in light reddish brown. Cape Cod itself is in yellow, as are all the other coasts that are not in green. It seems, therefore, that yellow, green, and reddish brown must indicate already explored coasts, while brown and sepia stand for those newly discovered. To sum up our theory briefly: Hudson took with him a chart indicating the coasts in green, yellow, and reddish brown; the coast-line which he discovered was added on this chart in a different colour brown; and his successor, the mysterious unknown explorer of 1610, used a sepia shade for the delineation of the tract which he added from his explorations. In the colouring, too, we find some resemblance between the Velasco map and the Virginia Company Chart, which, on other grounds as well (as we have seen), has been brought into close relation with Hudson. Newfoundland for example, is coloured green on both, and Nova Scotia and the south shore of the Saint Lawrence are in brown, with a broad yellow band of shading. A considerable part of this stretch, it will be remembered, is in yellow on the Velasco map.
“Summarising, in more precise and detailed form, the principal points of the foregoing hypothesis, it seems fair to conclude that Hudson took with him, on his third voyage [in 1609], a map, or maps, similar to the Velasco Map, but portraying only vaguely the region between Cape Charles and Cape Malabar; that this map (or maps) was sent to him by Captain Smith, embodied the entire knowledge (possessed by the English) of the East Coast, and must have resembled, closely, the Virginia Company Chart; that Hudson added to this map the delineation of the coast between Cape Charles and the western extremity of Long Island, including the course of the Hudson River; and, finally, that his mysterious successor, who was, perhaps, the well-known cartographer John Daniel, completed this coast-line, by adding, in more detail and with greater accuracy, the tract between New York Bay and Cape Cod. Until the re-discovery of Hudson’s chart, the Velasco Map must fill its place, and, as we have shown that it must resemble Hudson’s chart very closely, its great importance is manifest, which importance is still more evident when we compare it with the Virginia Company Chart.
“On the Virginia Company Chart, we find for the first time recorded a positive and relatively accurate knowledge of the coast-line north and east of the suspected passage in the neighbourhood of 40° N.L., including Cape Cod and extending to a point midway between the 43d and 44th degrees.
“In view of the important advance in knowledge concerning these regions which we are now aware that the English had, at this time, recently made beyond that possessed by the Dutch we see at once the motive which actuated the English King in forbidding Hudson to enter the service of the Dutch; and our theory, which was based primarily on the document found in the Spanish Archives, and cited above, is thereby very materially strengthened. With this new chart before us, it is easy to understand the full consequence of Hudson’s action in placing his knowledge and his person at the command of a foreign nation, whereby the profits gained were acquired at the cost of his own country. It, therefore, becomes clear why Hudson did not enter Chesapeake Bay, where, as Juet informs us, ‘were our Englishmen,’ whose presence was, of course, a very good reason why he should avoid that harbour.
“It is true, the Dutch received but scanty information of Hudson’s discoveries, because of his detention in England after the return from his third voyage; and new expeditions were required to re-find the great river which he had discovered, as will be seen in the next chapter. But the preliminary report which he was able to send to Holland sufficed to raise the interest of the Dutch merchants, and to direct their enterprises to those regions which, before Hudson, had remained unvisited by the Dutch.
“The settlement of the Dutch on Manhattan Island and their influence upon the origin and early development of the City of New York are, therefore, seen to be due largely to the political imprudence of Captain Smith, in sending his maps and other information to Hudson.”
(from Stokes, The Iconography of Manhattan Island,
“It is more than likely that Hudson’s material included a general map, on which the cartographical details supplied by various special or local maps were brought together and combined. Such a map, indicating just how much of the east coast of North America Hudson could have known before he started on his third voyage, would be of the highest interest. No such map, however, has been known until very recently, when, after the manuscript of this memoir had been completed, a happy chance brought into Mr. Stokes’s collection a chart which records very fully and exactly the very information which we suppose Hudson to have possessed (C. Pl. 21A).
“This very interesting little manuscript map was issued, probably, by the Virginia Company, and is unique in its representation of our coast. It is described for the first time in Bernard Quaritch’s Catalogue No. 332 (July, 1914), item 2. It delineates the coasts of the Northern Atlantic, including the first English settlements on the soil of the United States.
“The author of the catalogue assigns to this map a date but slightly posterior to the foundation of ‘James Towne’ by the expedition of Sir Thomas Gates, which left England in December, 1606. It is the earliest known map to both delineate and name ‘C. Kod,’ and it has also the names ‘Witstanbay’ (for Whitsonsbay) and ‘garda Hok’ (for Sagadahoc). These striking features are found on no other map dating from before 1610. I do not know of any earlier map giving Whitsonsbay, and the (49) oldest printed maps mentioning C. Cod are Alexander’s map, 1624, and Briggs’s map, 1625, both published in Purchas. West of Cape Cod, the island of Claudia (‘Clade Ilan’) is shown, which, for example, is also on the Molineux Map. Further to the west, original information is lacking and, instead of the actual configuration of the vicinity of Manhattan Island, we have what appears to be the conventional sixteenth-century representation of the Penobscot. Following the coast-line, we find, below this conventional representation, a good picture of Virginia, with Chesapeake Bay and Jamestown.
“The map is neatly drawn on a small vellum roll, and measures 20 by 26 centimetres. It is coloured in red, green, light brown, and gold, and wound round a wooden roller. The part of the North American coast which particularly interests us contains the following names:
“‘C. de Gamas;’ ‘Belile;’ ‘New Land’ (for: Newfoundland); ‘C. Ras;’ ‘R. de Canada;’ ‘C. Birton’ (for: C. Breton); ‘I. de Sabla;’ ‘I. Bande;’ ‘Alus marins’ (for: I. aux loups marins); ‘garda Hok’ (for: Sagadahoc); ‘Witstanbay’ (for: Whitsonsbay); ‘C. Kod;’ ‘Clade nan’ (Claudia Island); ‘C. de aressifes;’ ‘James Towne;’ ‘C. Charles;’ ‘C. Hennery;’ ‘C. Hattaraste;’ ‘Canada;’ ‘Nova Francia;’ ‘Virginia;’ ‘Birmuda.’
“The coast-line of the territory included in the Patent of the Virginia Company, dated April 10, 1606 (34° to 45° N.L.), is coloured green. The Bermudas are here named ‘Birmuda,’ whereas, from 1611 onwards, for a considerable period, they were known as the ‘Summer Islands,’ being called after Sir George Somers, who died there in that year.
“On comparing this map with a modern chart, it is evident that our East Coast is pretty accurately delineated, except for the stretch of shore, which may be described, roughly, as lying between Cape Cod and Chesapeake Bay. Here, apparently, a conventional picture of Penobscot Bay is introduced, which, of course, ought to be placed east, not west of Cape Cod. The stretch of the coast which was unknown to the author of this map is exactly that portion which was still un-mapped when Hudson left Amsterdam on his third voyage, and it was just this portion which he intended to explore, should his search for a passage to the Orient by the North prove unsuccessful. It seems, therefore, not extravagant to suppose that a map similar to this Virginia Company Chart was in the possession of Hudson on his eventful third voyage, when he entered the harbour of New York, saw Manhattan Island, and sailed up the river which has since been known by his name.
“It is very significant that, through what seems to be the misplacement on this map of the Penobscot, a large river appears north of Virginia, in about 40° N.L., in which neighbourhood, as we know, Hudson hoped to find such a river, or passage, which Captain Smith had informed him existed north of Virginia. These facts naturally suggest the idea that a map similar to ours was supplied by Smith to Hudson. It is indeed a remarkable coincidence that, just as the materials for this memoir had been completed, a map should come to light which so fully and accurately portrays the information which guided Hudson on his third voyage [in 1609].
“Some minor details, explained further on in this memoir, will show still more strikingly the close connection of this chart to Hudson’s map material.
“Thus equipped with the manuscript-maps and journals of Smith and Weymouth and with a knowledge of the printed maps then available, and possessed of some such general map as that just described, Hudson may be safely assumed to have been familiar with all that had been explored on the East Coast, up to the time of his leaving Holland. This seems to be further proved by the direction of his course, as related by Juet. When he comes upon a known point near Penobscot Bay, and again at Cape Cod, he at once seeks the open sea; but as soon as unknown parts, not shown on his maps, are reached, he closely hugs the coast, as, for instance, he did near Cape Charles, after turning back towards the north; and he enters, without hesitation, the first great river he encounters, which he may have supposed to be the river of Ottavio Pisanus’s map, or that of the Virginia Company Chart.”
|42a. “This connection was, I believe, first noted by B. F. de Costa in his essay on the Explorations of the North Amtrican Coast previous to the Voyage of Henry Hudson; Chap. I of The Memorial History of the City of New York. In this essay De Costa presents much interesting and suggestive material in condensed form.” (Stokes ii:51n42a)
44. “Copied by me from the original document in the Simancas Archives, Estado, leg. 2588, fol. 22. This document is the official, deciphered copy, made by a clerk, of Velasco’s original letter. The original letter, in cipher, was not found in the Archives. A transcript of the Spanish original of this letter, together with transcripts of the other Simancas documents, reproduced in translations only, in Brown’s Genesis, is now preserved in the New York Public Library, Manuscript Division, to which they were donated in 1898 by George L. Rives, Esq. The collection contains also a few unpublished transcripts.” (Stokes ii:51n44)
46. “El Marqués de Guadeleste, in sending from Brussels, December 2, 1611, to the Spanish King a report of Hudson’s fourth voyage, says: ‘Don Alonso de Velasco deve dar mas luz de todo a Vuestra Magestad y para que el la tenga por sino ha llegado a su noticia se lo escriviré yo y le remitiré una copia.’ Unpublished document in the Simancas Archives, Secretaria de Estado, Leg. 2293.” (Stokes ii:52n46)
72. “Moulton (History of New York. N. Y., 1826, Vol. I, p. 272), who very carefully, if not always convincingly, locates the various points along the Hudson River described by Juet, places ‘Manna-hata’ on the western bank, which seems to be justified by a careful examination of Juet’s description. The ‘cliffe, that looked of the colour of a white greene, as though it were either copper or silver myne,’ probably describes the rocky bluff at Hoboken. It is evident, from the text, that this cliff was very near the mouth of the river, out of which they ran early the following morning, as we are told that by 12 o’clock they had run through the Narrows and were clear of all the inlet. As there are no cliffs worthy of the name near the south end of Manhattan Island, it seems clear that the cliff here described, which was ‘on that side of the river that is called Manna-hata,’ was on the western bank, and it can, almost undoubtedly, be identified as Hoboken, although Asher dissented from this view (p. 91, note 2). As a further proof of the correctness of this assumption, attention is called to the fact that the ‘Half-Moon,’ having been driven on the shore of the bay near the foot of the cliff, was driven off again by a ‘north-northwest’ wind, which, of course, could not have happened if she had been lying off the Manhattan shore.” (Stokes ii:55n72)
75. “Cited by W. M. Beauchamp in Aboriginal Place Names of New York, p. 129, in New York State Museum, Bulletin 108, Archaeology 12. Albany, 1907; Edward Hagaman Hall also accepts Tooker’s explanation.” (Stokes ii:56n75)
76. “This, and some other conclusions in connection with the Velasco Map, were deduced from facts and documents, before my attention was called to the interesting study devoted by Edward Hagaman Hall to Hudson’s voyage, and printed in the Fifteenth Annual Report of tht American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society. Albany, 1910, pp. 227346.
85. “See Brown, The First Republic in America, pp. 1467. A full description of Smith’s map of Virginia, in P. Lee Phillips, Virginia Cartography, a Bibliographical Description (Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, 1039. Washington, 1896), pp. 1934.” (Stokes ii:59n85)
86. “Our reproduction in colours of the Velasco Map, C. Plate 22, exactly corresponds with the original. The colour work has, very obligingly, been done by the expert hand of the kind Director of the Archives of Simancas, Don Juan Montero Conde, and has been carefully compared with the original by the present author. In the New York Public library, there is preserved a modern coloured copy of the Velasco Map, the original copy made for Alexander Brown, on which apparently all the green of the original is rendered by blue, and the sepia is not expressed, separately, but is merged with the brown, thus destroying the striking correspondence of the brown colouring of the original with Hudson’s route.” (Stokes ii:59n86)
» next (Color and/or modern reproductions II)
|» Color and/or modern reproductions II (in Fite & Freeman, 1926)
» Color and/or modern reproductions III (in Cumming, Skelton & Quinn, 1971)
» Color and/or modern reproductions IV (in Paul Cohen, 1997)
» Color and/or modern reproductions V (in Mark Warhus, 1997)
• a GALLERY exhibit on the 1610/11 map of North America, aka the “Velasco Map,” and its first printing by Alexander Brown in 1890 (reproduced as item CLVIII in Brown)
• a complete text in the LIBRARY of Richard Flecknoe’s letter describing his transatlantic pleasure cruise to Brazil in 1648, during which Flecknoe experienced at first hand some of the places documented in the above Virginia Company Chart, 160608
• a GALLERY exhibit showing the Figurative Map of Adriaen Block, drawn in 1614
• painting of Francis I, king of France for whom Verrazzano explored the North American coast in 1523 and 1524 as symbolic hermaphrodite on the she-philosopher.com page, Names and the politics of naming. Verrazzano was the first European to enter and describe New York Bay and the Hudson River in 1524. His report regarding a passage to the Orient by way of “Verrazzano’s Sea” imagined by Europeans as an arm of the Pacific, somewhere off the Carolina coast, around north latitude 34° would inspire explorers and the nation-states who employed them for over 150 years.
• external link to another digitalization of Stokes’ 1916 reproduction of the Velasco Map at the mapsofpa.com Web site (item 1611.1 on the “Pennsylvania Regional Maps 1600 To 1630” page)
• a test of the new JPEG-2000 graphics format, using a higher-resolution image of the Velasco Map as a case study (includes a variety of JPEG-2000 and JPEG files)
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