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Very Rare Dutch View of San Francisco de Campeche

San Francisco de Campeche/ Mexico. LAET, J. DE/ GERITSZ, H. [Leyden, c. 1625-44]
St. Francisco De Campeche. 10 ¾ x 13 ¾ inches
Excellent condition


Very rare view of the Yucatan city that along with Havana and Cartagena were the three most important ports during the Spanish colonial era. Gold and silver mined in Mexico came to be loaded on to Spanish treasure ships at Campeche. For this and other reasons, throughout its history, the city was besieged by marauders of various stripes. Perhaps the worst occurred in 1685 at the hands of the Dutch, when the city was attacked for 30 days and a third of its population was lost. Depicted in the view are government buildings, dwellings, the cathedral, churches, a monastery, and several ships, two of which appear to be engaged in battle. There is an inset map, oriented with east at the top, of the Yucatán, the Gulf of Honduras, and the western part of Cuba. The legend at lower right lists 15 structures and items keyed to the view.
The view appeared in De Laet’s very rare history of the Dutch West India Company, the Historie ofte Iaerlijck Verhael Van de Verrichtingen der der Geoctroyeerde West-Indische Compagnie. This work is to be distinguished from the same author’s much more common, general history of the Americas, Beschrijvinghe van West-Indien, first published in 1630.

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