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Gallery Exhibit, Catalog No. 58

This is the 3rd 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” — III

Cumming, Skelton & Quinn, 1971

“Map of the East Coast of North America (the ‘Velasco’ map), 1611.” Simancas, Archivo General de Simancas, Estado. Leg. 2588, fo 22.
Reproduced as Fig. 326 (pp. 266–7) in The Discovery of North America, by William P. Cumming, R. A. Skelton, and D. B. Quinn.

View an enlarged 3100 x 2220 pixel JPG image (1.8MB)

THE AUTHORS’ GLOSS for their Fig. 326 (a full-spread, color plate) is brief, but informative, with a description of the original ms. map held by the Simancas Archives that confirms the description given in I. N. Phelps Stokes.

The Velasco ms. copy of 1611 is, we learn, a “large map [31.5 x 43.625 inches], in color on four sheets.”

I give the complete text of the authors’ gloss below:

This map was sent by Don Alonso de Velasco, the Spanish ambassador in London, to King Philip II [should read: Philip III] in 1611. It apparently accompanied a letter in cipher dated March 22, 1611, in which Velasco writes that he is enclosing a copy of a map made by a surveyor who was sent by James I to survey the English province in America.
This large map [31.5 x 43.625 inches], in color on four sheets, extends from Cape Fear to Labrador; the unknown surveyor gathered his information from many sources, some of it not elsewhere recorded. For the Ralegh colony region he used John White’s maps but has new names like Cape Kenrick (Wimble Shoals), Port Grenvil, and Port Lane, which he may have obtained orally from Harriot; other details he may have learned from expeditions south from Jamestown, sent by Captain John Smith. Chesapeake Bay is exceptionally detailed in its rivers and Indian names; W. Hole, the engraver of Smith’s map of Virginia (1612) may have had the original of this map before him as well as Smith’s draft. Hudson River, which connects with Lake Ontario, is unnamed but has by it “Manahata” and “Manchotin”, Indian tribal names which appear here for the first time on a map. North of Cape Charles the mapmaker apparently had the careful charts of Captain Argall (1610), now lost, and for New England possibly also surveys by other explorers like Pring and Gosnold. The map shows no knowledge of Long Island and Long Island Sound. Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and the St Lawrence have both French and English names, and indicate detailed knowledge of bays, rivers, capes, and islands. “F. Sta. Croix” and “Po Riall” in the Bay of Fundy show that the English were well aware of current French colonizing activities.

(Cumming, Skelton & Quinn,
The Discovery of North America 264)

» next (Color and/or modern reproductions — IV)
» Color and/or modern reproductions I   (in Isaac Stokes, 1916)
» Color and/or modern reproductions II   (in Fite & Freeman, 1926)
» Color and/or modern reproductions IV   (in Paul Cohen, 1997)
» Color and/or modern reproductions V   (in Mark Warhus, 1997)
Related Links

• 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)



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