Jansson's Influential Map of the East Coast
"Nova Anglia Novum Belgium et Virginia", Jansson, Jan
Subject: Colonial New England and Mid-Atlantic
Period: 1636 (published)
Publication: Atlas or a Geographicke description of the Regions…
Color: Hand Color
20 x 15.3 inches
50.8 x 38.9 cm
This is the first state of Jansson's important map of the eastern coast of North America covering from just south of the outer banks in present-day North Carolina to Nova Scotia. The map is based on the less well-known map of Johannes de Laet of 1630, but covers a slightly larger area. Because of its wider distribution, Jansson's map was much more influential, particularly with its depiction of the Dutch of Nieuw Nederland (New York). Cape Cod, Lake Champlain, Long Island, and the Chesapeake Bay are easily recognized compared to earlier maps. In fact, this map contains some of the earliest accurate cartography of the region showing New Amsterdam, Manhattan Island (Manbattes), Fort Orange, the Hudson (Noordt River) and the Delaware (Zuydt River). The map includes part of the Great Lakes, labeled Grand Lac and Lac des Yroquois, an unnamed Lake Champlain, and a fictitious lake at the headwaters of the Delaware River. According to Karpinski, this "is the first printed complete map of Lake Superior" although according to Burden there is no evidence to support that and Grand Lac is more likely Lake Huron. The map is adorned with two decorative cartouches, ships, sea monsters and compass roses. A portion of the entertaining English narrative on the verso describes the edible denizens of the sea in verse:
The Luscious Lobster, with the Crabfish raw.
The Brinish Oyster, Muscle Periwigge
And Tortoise Sought for by the Indian Squaw
Which to the flats dance many a winters Jigge,
To dive for Cocles, and to digge for Clammes,
Whereby her Lazie Husbands guttes she crammes.
References: Burden #247; Cumming (SE) #39; Karpinski, p. 26 & 31 plt. II; McCorkle #636.2.
The map has been professionally cleaned with a 1" tear to the left of the title cartouche and centerfold separations at top and bottom extending 2" and 0.5" into the image respectively, all of which have been almost invisibly repaired. A number of chips and tears in the blank margins have also been expertly repaired. The original color is a bit faded and there is a minute hole in the title cartouche.