The Earliest Collectible Map of Eastern North Carolina & Virginia
"Americae Pars, nunc Virginia Dicta, Primum ab Anglis Inventa, Sumtibus Dn. Walteri Raleigh...", White/De Bry
Subject: Colonial Southeast United States
Period: 1590 (circa)
Publication: Admiranda Narratio Fida Tamen, de Commodis et Incolarum Ritibus Virginiae
Color: Hand Color
16.4 x 11.9 inches
41.7 x 30.2 cm
This copper engraving is from a remarkable series of publications, illustrating voyages of discovery and travels of exploration to various parts of the world. The project was begun by Theodore de Bry of Frankfurt, in 1590 and was to continue for another 54 years. They became known collectively as the Grands Voyages (to America and the West Indies) and the Petits Voyages (to the Orient and the East Indies). De Bry died after the first six parts of the Grands Voyages were completed. The project was completed initially by his widow and two sons, Johann Theodore de Bry and Johann Israel de Bry, then by his son-in-law, Matthaus Merian in 1644.
This remarkable map of eastern North Carolina and a portion of Virginia is one of the most significant milestones in the cartographic history of North America. It is the most accurate 16th century map of any portion of North America, and is the earliest collectible map of the region. It is the first to show and name the Chesapeake Bay (Chesepiooc Sinus), and the second map of Roanoke.
Based directly on the manuscript map by John White, governor of the Roanoke colony, the map records the first English attempts at colonization in the New World. The map's influence can be seen in virtually every map of Colonial North America for the succeeding 100 years including works by de Jode (1593), Wytfliet (1597) and Metellus (1598) to name a few. Cartographically, the map covers the region from Chesapeake Bay to Cape Lookout, locating numerous Indian villages. Large sections of the interior are labeled as Secotan, Weapemeoc, and Chawanook. The map is also a masterful engraving adorned with the Royal Arms of England, English ships sailing in the Outer Banks, Indian canoes around the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, Indian figures, a large compass rose, sea monster, and two decorative cartouches. This example appears to be the second state according to Burden with the village name Chesepiooc with a "C" correcting the original plate's "E". Published in volume one of Theodore De Bry's Collectiones Pergrinationum in Indiam Occidentalem.
References: Burden #76; Cumming #12; Schwartz & Ehrenberg, plt. 37; Stephenson & McKee pp. 26-27; Wooldridge pp. 9-15.
On watermarked paper which has been expertly conserved to repair a 6.5" fold separation and a 3.75" edge tear both at bottom, along with a few other minor tears and abrasions at top. The word Roanoac has mostly faded, and there are some minor horizontal creases near the center of the image. Light surface soiling with a narrow top margin.