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2009-05-26 07:04:40
Smith, John Captain (1580-1631)
"New England" from The General Historie of Virginia, New-England and the Summer Isles
London, 1616. THE FIRST MAP OF NEW ENGLAND Copper-plate engraving: 117/8" x 137/8" References: Seymour I. Schwartz & Ralph E. Ehrenberg, The Mapping of America (New York, 1980), 96-99; Thomas Suarez, Shedding the Veil (Singapore, 1992), 127-9; M.B. Pritchard & H.M. Taliaferro, Degrees of Latitude: Mapping Colonial America (Williamsburg, 2002), n. 6. In 1614, five years after returning to England from Virginia, Captain John Smith returned to the New World, this time to the coasts of Maine and Massachusetts Bay - the region that would come to be known, thanks to the map that he subsequently published, as "New England." This map, the result of Smith's personal explorations and field surveys, covers the area from Penobscot Bay to Cape Cod. It is the earliest map devoted to the region and the foundational work of New England cartography. Smith's second New World voyage was initiated by the invitation of four London merchants who financed two ships that sailed in March 1614 with instructions to return with a profitable cargo. Smith made the Atlantic crossing in a relatively speedy six weeks, arriving off Monhegan Island near the Kennebec estuary. By that time the waters of New England, particularly Maine, were being visited by dozens of English and French fishing vessels a year. While the crew of one of Smith's vessels concentrated on catching fish and collecting other valuable commodities, Smith continued down the coast to chart and explore, lamenting the poor quality of existing maps: "[I] had six or seven several plots of those Northern parts, so unlike each to oth … [Click Below for Full Description]
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