JPEG Image (329 kb)
High resolution image in Mr SID
format Image of 1685 edition from the Library of Congress
Novi Belgii Novaeque Angliae: nec non partis Virginiae tabula
multis in locis emendata
[Amsterdam?]: Visscher, 1656
46 x 55 cm.
New York (State)--Maps--Early works to
New Jersey--Maps--Early works to 1800
view "Nieuw Amsterdam op t eylant Manhattans."
2. Image derived from Kodak Photo CD made from slide
obtained from original map at John Carter Brown. For
reproduction rights contact the John Carter Brown Library.
Novi Belgii Novaque Angliae, 1656
Nicholaes Visscherís 1656 map is the best known map of New Netherland. It is largely
based on a map published by Joannes Janssonius in 1651, which in turn borrowed heavily
from the Blaeu map of 1635. Most of the illustrations on the Blaeu map are copied by
Visscher, and many of Blaeuís most glaring errors are also
retained, although more accurate information was available by 1650. Lake Champlain remains
radically misplaced to the east of the Connecticut River. The St.Lawrence River--boldly
designated the Great River of New Netherland--is shown interlaced with the much smaller
Ottawa River--an error Blaeu probably derived
from one of Champlainís maps.
In spite of these persisting errors, the Visscher map reflects much of the increase in
Dutch knowledge of the geography of the New York area. Long Island is no longer shown as
broken up by waterways, and many place names and some new features are added. The Hudson
Highlands and the Catskill Mountains are drawn
in, and many place names along
the Hudson River are shown. The Mohawk River appears--along with a number
of villages of the Mohawk Indians. Overall, the map is a rich source of
place names for both Indian and European settlements in the middle of the
seventeenth century. At the bottom of the map is one of the earliest
engravings of New Amsterdam..
This map was frequently reprinted, and was regarded as
the best map of New Netherland for many years. It was even used by the
English king after the conquest of New Netherland to establish the
boundary between New York and New Jersey. A non-existent river flowing
between the Delaware and the Hudson was used to
mark a portion of the boundary between the two colonies. This error may be another example
of mistaking an Indian portage route for an actual river. This error caused numerous
boundary disputes between New York and New Jersey through most of the colonial period.
Burden, Mapping of North America , nos. 305, 315.
Tony Campbell, "New Light on the Jansson-Visscher Maps of New England," Map
Collectorsí Series, 24 (1965)
Manhattan in Maps
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