National Geographic : 1893 Apr 7
Early Maps of America. 17 gated and the southern part of it colonized ; but it was not until after another century and another age that another race found homes for themselves on the coast of North America. The voyages of the discoverers of America gradually became known to the public. It is interesting and instructive to exam ine the early maps representing these voyages to see how slowly the geography of the new world became known. On the Zeni map of 1400, published in 1558, Greenland is con nected with Norway. The same connection is shown in the Claudius Clavus map of 1427, in the Portuguese mappemonde of 1490, and even in the Ptolemy map by Waldseemfiller in 1513; while in the map of Europe at the end of the " Chronicon Nu rembergense," 1493, Greenland is shown as an isthmus connect ing Norway and Sweden with Russia. One of the first maps drawn after the discovery of America was that made in 1500 by Juan de la Cosa, a celebrated pilot and car tographer who accompanied Columbus on his first and second voyages and Vespucius on his first voyage. It delineated parts of the eastern coasts of South America and North America, showing by the flags of Spain, England and Portugal the coast explored by the ships of each country. On that part of the map between North America and South America, Columbus is drawn as Saint Christopher bearing the Christ child on his shoulders. The figure thus fulfills a double purpose of honoring Columbus and cover ing the undiscovered portions of the continent (plate 4*). On the Cantino chart of 1501-1502 South America is deline ated as surrounded by water from about 30° south to the isthmus of Darien, then Cuba, the West India islands and the coast of North America from 37° to 540 north. There is no land con necting North America and South America. On the Ruysch map of 1508, two years after the death of Co lumbus, Greenland and Labrador are connected with Asia. The new world appears as an island near the equator (plate 5t). * The original of this map is preserved in the Museo de la Marina at Madrid. Plate 5 is reduced from a tracing of a lithographed fac simile, in colors, in possession of Mr Thomas Wilson, whose courtesy in permit ting the use of this rare map it is a pleasure to acknowledge. t Photolithographed directly from a copy of the edition accompanying the " Geographise Cl. Ptolemsei," Romse, 1508, now in the Library of Con gress, through the kindness of Hon A. R. Spofford. The Ruysch map is of special interest as showing the Cabot discoveries of 1497 and as being the first map of the world engraved on copper. 3-NAT. GEOG. MAG., VOL. V, 1893.
1893 Apr 29
1893 Mar 20