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Blaeu, Willem Janszoon

Nova Belgica et Anglia Nova.

Publication information:
Amsterdam:  Blaeu, 1635

Copperplate engraving, hand colored, 39 x 50 cm.

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

1. From his Teatrum Orbis Terrarum.
2. Image derived from a Kodak Photo CD using slide of original map at John Carter Brown Library.  Contact John Carter Brown Library for reproduction rights.

Willem Janszoon Blaeu

Nova Belgica et Anglia Nova, 1635

After Henry Hudsonís rediscovery in 1609 of the river that now bears his name, rapid progress was made in the mapping of New York. Most of the maps of southern New York that appeared in the first three-quarters of the seventeenth century were the work of Dutch explorers and cartographers.

Hudson and his successors quickly determined the configuration of the Hudson River up to the limits of its navigability. In 1613/14, Adriaen Block, a Dutch explorer and fur trader, sailed around Long Island, and sketched out its overall appearance.

The 1635 Blaeu map of New Netherland and New England reflects these early Dutch explorations. It is largely based on a manuscript map,  the famous "Adriaen Block Chart"; of 1614.  Long Island (called Matowacs on this map), is shown as broken up by waterways--a feature taken from the Block Chart.  Lake Champlain is still displaced far to the east--a feature which Block copied from an unpublished map by Champlain.  A number of important place names make their first cartographic appearance on this map. These include "Manhates" (Manhattan), "Hellegat" (Hell Gate), and "Adrian Blocks eylandt" (Block Island). The beginnings of Dutch settlement in this area are reflected in the place names "New Amsterdam" and "Fort Orange" (near Albany).  The numerous Dutch place names along the coast of New England are mostly copied from the Block chart, although Plymouth is added.

This and other early Dutch maps are important sources of information about local Indians. A number of tribes are named, including the Mohawks ("Maques") and Mohegans ("Mahikans"). Birch bark and dugout canoes are shown, as well as somewhat fancifully drawn Indian settlements. American wildlife, including turkey and beaver, are also illustrated. These illustrations, which were frequently copied on later maps, were important sources of information about life in the New World for Europeans who remained at home.


Burden, Mapping of North America , no. 241.

Benjamin Schmidt, "Mapping an Empire: Cartographic and Colonial Rivalry in Seventeenth-Century Dutch and English North America," The William and Mary Quarterly , 3rd Series, Vol. LIV, No. 3 (July, 1997), 549-578.

Trudel, An Atlas of New France , 86-87.

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Revised 7/19/04