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Antique Maps of Jamaica
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Antique Maps of the Caribbean
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This very old map, more art than science, was engraved by Girolamo Porro and appeared in Tomaso Porcacchi Castilione's "L'Isole piu Famose del Mondo" published in Venice, Italy in 1572.
The original of this map, commonly called the "Columbus Map" is in the museum in Genoa, Italy. Some experts think it was drawn by Columbus himself while others think it was seeing this map that inspired Columbus to start his explorations.
Gerard Mercator was a mathematician, engraver & cartographer. He is best known for developing the idea of latitude & longitude and inventing globes. He coined the word atlas & convinced his friend, Ortelius, to publish one. This particular map is from a 1630 Hondius publication, after his death.
Abraham Ortelius & his sisters were very famous map colourists in the sixteenth century. In about 1560 he started to produce his own maps. This one, "Hispanolae, Cubae, Allarumque Insula Rum Circumiacientium Delineatio" was drawn in 1579. Ortelius published the first atlas "Theatrum Orbis Terrarum" in 1570.
John Ogilby's "Novissima et Accuratissima Jamaicae" engraved by F. Lamb published in 1671. The inset at the bottom is a list of places & plantations existing at that time.
Willem Blaeu, & subsequently his son Johannes, were very famous map publishers. This map "Insulae Americanae in Oceano Septentrionali" dates from 1636.
Emmanuel Bowen's surprisingly accurate 1744 map of Jamaica published in "A Complete System of Geography". The insets are navigational charts of Port Royal (Kingston) Harbour & Port Antonio Harbour.
A map of Jamaica & Barbados by John Speed published in London in 1676.
In 1764 Jacques-Nicolas Bellin published his famous "Le Petit Atlas Maritime". This atlas contained a map of Jamaica as well as what could be called "road maps" of many cities & towns in the Island including this one of Port Royal. It is interesting that a Frenchman drew such accurate maps of Jamaica at a time when the English had it highly fortified against the French.
"Dominia Anglorum pręcipuis in Insulis Americę" Important English Islands in the Americas published by Homann Erben (Homann's Heirs) in 1730. St Christopher (St Kitts) Antigua & Bermuda on the left & Barbados & Jamaica on the right.
"Jamaica from the Latest Surveys; Improved and Engraved by Thomas Jeffreys, Geographer to the King" published in London in 1775. Insets show Port Royal (Kingston) Harbour & Bluefields.
Rigobert Bonne succeeded Bellin as official Hydrographer in France. He produced the "Enclopedique Atlas" in 1787/1788. This is the "Carte Supplement pour les Isles Antilles" to that Atlas and shows the Virgin Islands, Barbuda, St Kitts, Antigua, Dominica, St Lucia, Barbados, St Vincent, Grenada and Tobago.
Jamaica from John Thomson's "General Atlas" published in Edinburgh in 1814.
From John Thomson's "New General Atlas" published in Edinburgh in 1816. Shown are Grenada, Curacao, Trinidad & Tobago.
Jamaica from "Tallis's Imperial Illustrated Atlas and Modern History of the World, Geographical, Political, Commercial and Statistical" illustrations by H Winkles, engraved by W Lacey, published by John Tallis in 1851.
From Luke Drury's 1822 "Geography for Schools" published in Rhode Island, USA.
GH Swanson's Island of Jamaica from Archibald Fullerton's "Royal Illustrated Atlas" published in 1860 in Edinburgh.
The Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge produced two atlases, one of the Old World & one of the New World, including this map "the British Islands of the West Indies" dating from 1835. The map shows all the islands owned by Great Britain at that time.
Jamaica from the "New International Encyclopedia" published by Dodd, Mead & Co in 1903.
George Colton's map of Cuba, Jamaica & Porto Rico published in New York in 1855.
In 1903 Vaughan Cornish, DSc, FRGS (a geographer famous for his study of land & water waves) and his wife started on a trip around the world. They landed in Kingston on 10th January 1907.
On January 14th the Great Earthquake occurred. Kingston & its environs was virtually destroyed and Dr & Mrs Cornish were among the injured. They returned to England to recover but came back in May to study the cause & effects of the disaster. This is the map produced the following year.
Published in "Johnson's New Illustrated Family Atlas of the World" in New York in 1864.
From "Cram's Modern Atlas" 1910 edition published by George F Cram.
"West India Islands" from atlas published by W & AK Johnston, Edinburgh, 1890.
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