JPEG Image (329 kb)

High resolution image in Mr SID format  Image of 1685 edition from the Library of Congress


Visscher, Nicolaes, 1649-1702

Novi Belgii Novaeque Angliae: nec non partis Virginiae tabula multis in locis emendata

Publication information:
[Amsterdam?]:  Visscher, 1656

Copperplate engraving,  46 x 55 cm.

New York (State)--Maps--Early works to 1800
New Jersey--Maps--Early works to 1800

1. Includes 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.


Nicholaes Visscher

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)

Cohen, Manhattan in Maps , 32-33

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 Revised 11/6/01