"Carte Particuliere de Isthmus, ou Darien, qui Comprend le Golfe de Panama &c. Cartagene, et les Isles aux Environs", Mortier, Pierre
Subject: Panama and Western Colombia
Period: 1700 (circa)
Color: Hand Color
33.8 x 23.3 inches
85.9 x 59.2 cm
This large scale map focuses on Panama through Cartagena, Colombia, and extending to include parts of Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Rocks, shoals, and numerous tiny islands are shown along the coasts. Inland detail is confined to rivers, mountains, and key towns. At top is a large inset of the northeastern coast of the Isthmus of Darien (Isthmus of Panama), an area of great strategic importance to trade in the New World. The inset features the fortified port of New Edinburgh and the numerous islands just to the northwest of the port, as well as depth soundings and safe anchorages in the area. New Edinburgh was a short-lived colony established by the Company of Scotland as a trading settlement on the Darien coast of Panama in 1698. The colony was well located with a good harbor but within a year the colony failed amid devastating illness and attack by Spanish galleons. The failure of the Darien Scheme (as it became known) contributed greatly to the crippling of the entire Scottish economy that eventually led to the dissolution of the Scottish Parliament and the 1707 Act of Union with England. At bottom right is an inset of Cartagena and Cartagena Bay, with bird's-eye views of several forts in the area, roads, and the navigable passage through Cartagena Bay.
References: Kapp (MCC-73) #31; Pastoureau, Jaillot I E .
Original outline color on watermarked paper with light soiling and offsetting. There is a tiny hole in an unengraved area of map below the inset of the Isthmus of Darien. There is a pale blue shadow along the centerfold that is caused by our scanner and does not appear on the map itself.