National Geographic : 1898 Aug
GOMEZ AND THE NEW YORK GULF tion in the unofficial Ribero-type maps of 1527-'29 have been unsatisfactory. So also have been the efforts to find correspond ence between the Ribero-type contours and the real American coast-line. The significance of the Santa Cruz map, therefore, lies in this-that it alone among early maps corresponds to Oviedo's description of the Chaves map and should indicate the exact extent of Gomez' discoveries by an actual resemblance to the American coast. In a single feature does the Santa Cruz map seriously depart from Oviedo's data. Its latitudes are all marked one degree farther north than Oviedo gives them. But this question of latitude brings out another curious point. The Santa Cruz map purports to represent the American coast from 38° to 450, yet it obviously does not represent the coast-line of that space, while it does resemble quite well the coast of New England from Nan tucket to the Penobscot. This discrepancy of latitude may be set aside for the moment. The real test of the map is its resem blance to the New England coast. Beginning at the north, the islands of the Maine coast are shown and the legend "montafias" is placed just where Kohl says that mariners can see the distant peaks of the White mountains. Turning then southwest and south, the coast makes a deep indentation suggestive of Massa chusetts bay, turns sharply to a north-pointing cape like Cape Cod, and then southward again as if to the point of Nantucket, where it makes a sharp turn to the westward before merging in the land discovered by Ayllon. In its relative proportions the Santa Cruz map corresponds with the New England coast, except in an unusual lateral extension of the Maine coast. The map is one such as would be expected from a sixteenth century offi cial explorer-not true in all details, but fairly accurate in general features. Under this interpretation of the map the Rio de las Gamas of Gomez becomes the Penobscot, Cabo de Santiago becomes Cape Cod, Cabo de las Arenas becomes the Point of Nantucket, and the Rio de San Antonio becomes, not the Hudson, but the Mer rimac or Salmon Falls. It is interesting to note how the inac curacy of the Ribero-type maps has transferred the east-pointing Cabo de las Arenas of Gomez to the'place of the north-pointing Cabo de Santiago. That the island of Nantucket is made one with the mainland is natural, since Gomez, aware of the shoals and shallows of that region, would hardly have tempted fate by running close to shore, but, passing to the southward, might have remained unaware of the passage between it and the main.