"Chart to Illustrate the Landfall of Columbus 12 October 1492", Royal Geographical Society
Subject: Lucayan Archipelago, Greater Antilles
Period: 1856 (dated)
Publication: Journal of the Royal Geographical Society
Color: Hand Color
24.8 x 16.1 inches
63 x 40.9 cm
This uncommon map covers the route of Christopher Columbus on his legendary first voyage in 1492, when he made landfall in the Caribbean and "discovered" America. The chart spans from the Andros archipelago to the northwest corner of Puerto Rico and includes Turks and Caicos Islands and portions of Cuba, Jamaica, and Hispaniola. It traces three possible routes through the region: the one posited by A.B. Becher, the author of this chart (shown in red), Washington Irving's theory (blue), and the track proposed by Martin Fernandez de Navarrete (yellow), a Spanish sailor and historian who rediscovered the abstracts of Columbus's journal in the library of the Duke of the Infantado in the late 18th century. Along Becher's route, numerous place names given by Columbus himself appear in red type. There are two insets: The Crooked Isles (Fragrant Isles) and Watling Island (San Salvador), the latter of which includes a view of San Salvador's coast. Above the top neatline is an extensive view of the coast of Long Island, Bahamas. Published for the Royal Geographical Society by John Murray.
Issued folding with some short fold separations and tiny splits at fold intersections, light toning especially concentrated across the top of the sheet, and hints of offsetting. A short tear at left has been archivally repaired. There is a binding trim in the right blank margin.