The First Printed Map of the Southern United States in Contemporary Color
"Peruviae Auriferae Regionis Typus. Didaco Mendezio Auctore [on sheet with] La Florida. Auctore Hieron. Chiaves [and] Guastecan Reg.", Ortelius, Abraham
Subject: Gulf of Mexico, Southern United States & Peru
Period: 1595 (published)
Publication: Theatrum Orbis Terrarum
Color: Hand Color
18.3 x 13.1 inches
46.5 x 33.3 cm
This was one of the few sixteenth century maps based on Spanish sources; in this case drawing from reports of Hernando de Soto's expedition through the region. There are three maps on this sheet. The most important map, La Florida, is the first printed map of the southern portion of the United States. This influential map provided the foundation cartography for the region, particularly in the depiction of the river system. The map below (Guastecan Reg) combines with La Florida to extend the coastline of the Gulf of Mexico further south. The third is a map of Peru, where De Soto was the first Spaniard to meet Inca Emperor Atahuallpa. In the north of the map of Peru is Aurea Regio, or Kingdom of Gold, a reference to the fabled El Dorado. All maps contain decorative cartouches, and the map of Peru is embellished with two ships. Latin text on verso.
References: Burden #57; Cumming (SE) #5; Van den Broecke #15.
A dark impression with full contemporary color on a sheet with the crossed arrows watermark commonly found on Ortelius maps. There is light printer's ink residue, small remnants of hinge tape on verso, and some faint staining in the blank margins.