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A Dutch Masterwork of the Northeast
and New York City
Northeast/ New York City..
JANSSON J./ VISSCHER, C. J. [Amsterdam, c. 1683]
Novi Belgii Novaeque Angliae...
18 ¼ x 21 ½ inches.
Fine original color, slightly refreshed; reinforced areas of oxidation; very good
A beautiful example of a map that is as historically important as it is attractive. It was the culmination of all the surveys of the area conducted by the Dutch colonists of New Netherlands during their first three decades in America. It is also the first printed map to delineate the shape of Manhattan with relative accuracy; it had been shown as a triangle earlier. Also, English towns that were just being settled at the time, such as Milford, Guilford, Stratford, and Stamford, are shown along the Connecticut shoreline. Every Indian tribe encountered by the colonists, most of which are long extinct, as well as every town and settlement in existence at the time, are believed to be on this map.
The map in its original form was part of a protest by New Netherlands colonists against the policies of the Dutch West India Company, the organization which sponsored the colonization of New York. The author of this original was possibly A. van der Donck, a lawyer, who was an early resident of New Amsterdam and who led the protest of the colonists.
The view of New Amsterdam at the southern tip of Manhattan in the lower right hand corner is based on the second earliest image of the city. It is believed to be a generally accurate though sanitized depiction of New Amsterdam approximately 25 years after initial settlement. The view reveals a modest but charming village set on the rolling landscape that characterized Manhattan topography in its virgin state. See below for Joep De Koning’s new research on the origins and dating of the view.
Burden 315; Tooley, America, no. 5, p. 284; Augustyn/ Cohen, Manhattan in Maps, pp. 32-33; J. De Koning, “From Van der Donck to Visscher” in Mercator’s World, July/ August 2000
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