Abstracts of Papers Delivered at
The 51st Annual Meeting of
The Society for the History of Discoveries
Santa Fe, New Mexico
September 12-14, 2010
ARRANGED ALPHABETICALLY BY AUTHOR
“Transatlantic Travels of Muslims in the 16th Century: The Sources”
Muslims originating from Spain and Africa helped conquer, explore and settle the New World alongside their Catholic brethren; they accompanied the expeditions of Cabeza de Vaca, Cortés and Magellan. The settlement of Muslims occurred despite Spain's attempts to prevent the migration of Muslims to their New World territories, and the Inquisition investigated charges of secret Islamic worship and ancestry. Some of these same documents reveal that Muslims also explored the New World independent of Catholic expeditions. This paper will examine the co-existence of Catholics and Muslims in the New World while acknowledging the sources that documented Muslim exploration and settlement.
Biography: Lauren Beck is an Assistant Professor of Hispanic Studies (Ph.D., University of Western Ontario, 2008) at Mount Allison University. Most of her research involves maps and historiographic texts dating from the early modern period, and she is particularly interested in the relationship between text and image, and cultural representation.
“Understanding Explorers’ Journals”
Richard C. Davis
While the term “journal” seems a clear and unequivocal reference to the daily record of exploration, a closer look suggests a far more complicated issue. Publishers have long used the term in reference both to regular day by day records as well as to public accounts composed years later. Explorers themselves typically created numerous drafts of their journals, each one increasingly edited and increasingly distant from the daily record. And aboard ship, “journals” have taken on an amorphous relationship to the “logs” on which they were frequently based, except when the “journal” and the “log” became one and the same thing, a situation dependent more on the explorer’s leisure than anything else.
This talk explores several of these interesting complications, drawing on illustrations from the exploration writing of George Vancouver, John Franklin, Lewis and Clark, and others.
Biography: Davis is Faculty Professor at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. He retired this past summer after more than thirty years in Calgary as a professor in the Department of English, where his main area of specialization has been the early writing describing Britain’s colonial empire. Such writing includes the many verbal records kept by the geographical explorers, the transformation of those records into public documents, and the image of the New World that such accounts created in Britain. In addition to articles and other books, he has edited three volumes of exploration journals for the Hakluyt Society and the Champlain Society.
“The Sam Steele Collection: The Man, the Resource, the Story”
Daniel Duda and David Jones
Samuel (Sam) Benefield Steele (1849-1919), the iconic image of law and order in late 19th Century Western Canada, was a man of many aspects. Although best known for his work with the North-West Mounted Police (NWMP) in Western Canada during the years of the Riel Rebellions, he also played a key role in the exploration of much of the Prairies, maintaining order in the Yukon during the Klondike Gold Rush and later with Canadian forces in South Africa during the Boer War.
A dedicated writer and reporter he generated a wealth of correspondence, reports, scrapbooks, photos, diaries, etc., including sketches and maps. This documentary treasure trove, along with Steele’s medals, uniforms and military accoutrements, was held by his English descendants. In 2008 these papers were purchased by a partnership including the University of Alberta and the Glenbow Institute with governmental and corporate support. When unpacked, the 85 boxes amounted to about 115 linear feet of documents and photographs including 149 diaries.
This paper will introduce the career and accomplishments of Sam Steele, the tale of the collection and its acquisition by the University of Alberta, its research use and potential, and the related documentary and map resources at the U. of A.
The authors will report on current research linking one of his sketch maps to contemporary mapping of the region between Lake Superior and Winnipeg.
Biography: Danial Duda (B.A., MLIS) is the Map Librarian at Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. He is currently doing graduate work in Historical Geography at Memorial where he brings his passion for history and maps together. He has a sincere interest in the Steele Collection because he was born and raised in Alberta.
David Jones (B.Sc., MLS) is Map Librarian at the William C. Wonders Map Collection, University of Alberta Libraries, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The Steele Collection has a major focus on cartographic materials of the Western Canada. Jones has been active in professional associations serving on the Executive Board of the Association of Canadian Map Libraries and Archives (ACMLA) and is a member of Council of the SHD.
“The Flipside of Discovery: Pueblo Indian Response to the Approach of the Coronado Expedition”It is widely known that within a decade after the Spanish conquest and occupation of Tenochtitlan-México, the Europeans heard rumors about the Pueblos of what is now the American Southwest. By 1539, bits of information, some of it erroneous, had coalesced into an enticing image of the Pueblo World as a wealthy outlier of Asia.
What is little appreciated is that long before the Europeans heard even the first hints about the Pueblos, those town-dwelling traders and farmers of the Rio Grande Valley and adjacent mesalands of New Mexico and Arizona had received word of the doings and habits of those very Europeans. Such was the reach and speed of indigenous trade and communication networks.
As a consequence, the Pueblos knew much about Europeans and their horses and weapons, their pavilion tents and black slaves, their toilet habits and their Indian allies before they ever saw them. And they saw the Europeans, unaware that they were being watched, weeks before Europeans saw Pueblos. So the Pueblos had already devised strategies and stratagems of response before the Europeans ever laid eyes on the seven Cities of Cíbola.
The consequences for what Europeans saw of Cíbola and the rest of the land they called Tierra Nueva were profound.
Biography: Richard Flint, together with his historian wife Shirley Cushing Flint, is widely considered to be the foremost scholar on the Coronado expedition of 1539-1542. His latest book on the subject is No Settlement, No Conquest: A History of the Coronado Entrada (University of New Mexico Press, 2008). Together and separately, the Flints have written and edited five other books and numerous scholarly and popular articles on the expedition. Their current project, “Members of the Coronado Expedition: A Search for Documents,” is characterizing the roughly 2,000 members of the expedition, both as individuals and as an alliance of groups. Richard Flint holds a Ph.D. in Latin American and Western U.S. History from the University of New Mexico and is a research associate professor with the Latin American and Iberian Institute at UNM and a research associate in history with the Center for Desert Archaeology in Tucson.
"Images of the Americas: Comparing Ogilby and Chatelain"
Stephen D. Glazier
This presentation offers a comparative study of 17th century depictions of the New World examining John Ogilby’s America: being the latest, and most accurate description of the New World (1671) and the 18th century depiction by Henri Chatelain in Atlas historique, ou, Nouvelle introduction à l’histoire, à la chronologie & à la géographie ancienne & moderne; représentée dans de nouvelles cartes ... Par Mr. C. Avec des dissertations sur l’histoire de chaque état, par Mr. Gueudeville. (1708). In many respects, Ogilby's and Chatelain's works are similar. They were published within forty years of each other. Both are comprehensive in scope. Both volumes intersperse maps, texts, and illustrations. Neither volume included much new information, but artfully synthesized what was already known.
There are three significant differences between Ogilby and Chatelain: 1) Ogilby relied on illustrations published earlier (like Mallet and de Bry), while Chatelain used an artful assemblage of original maps and texts to convey a sense of the relationship between historical events and patterns of European dominance (e. g. his sheet depicting Spanish possessions includes miniature maps of the Philippines, New Mexico, the Caribbean, Peru, and Sardinia) ; 2) Ogilby's text is largely unembellished while Chatelain's text is finely engraved and integrated with illustrations. Chatelain's calligraphy is an art form in itself; and 3) Chatelain was much more creative in the juxtaposition of his materials.
Biography: Stephen D. Glazier is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Nebraska. He has conducted research at the map library at Yale University, the Clements Library at the University of Michigan, the Clark Library at UCLA, and the Newberry Library.
“Jesuit Chroniclers of Baja California”
Russell M. Magnaghi
Baja California for centuries was seen as a little known and remote part of the world. It is described as a hot, dry, rocky place filled with cactus. It was not a place that attracted many people especially due to the lack of water. Its Native Peoples were few in number given the environment and were hunters and gatherers. While Alta California grew and expanded, its southern neighbor was all but forgotten. Despite its isolation Baja California was first visited by the Spanish explorer, Francisco de Ulloa in 1539 some dozen years after the conquest of Mexico. Others followed, but it was not until the arrival of Jesuit missionaries in 1697 that controlled settlement began.
The Jesuits brought with them an interest in science and their dual mission was to save souls and to extend knowledge for the expansion of their missionary work and for general knowledge that could be taught in their schools and ultimately brought to the general public. Their journals, maps and notes were filled with invaluable information about this desolate land. They were the first Europeans to visit and settle Baja and to keep a record of the environment and people they encountered.
This paper commemorates the recent purchase and exhibition of Matteo Ricci's 1602 map of the world and China by the University of Minnesota. The information on Baja California was developed by numerous Jesuits who were not only missionaries and administrators but horticulturalists, explorers, cartographers, chroniclers, ethnographers, and historians.
There was the Croatian, Fernando Consag who explored and mapped the Peninsula between 1746 and 1753. The Bohemian Jesuit, Igancio Tirsch drew a series of accurate drawings of the people, plants and animals of Baja. The Honduran, Juan de Ugarte who not only explored but constructed the first boat in Baja, Triumph of the Cross and introduced and promoted agriculture in this barren land. One of the founders of the missionary empire was Juan Maria Salvatierra from Milan, Italy who wrote extensive descriptions which were used along with materials from other Jesuits by Miguel Venegas, SJ to write a geographical, historical, and ethnographical study of Baja. Miguel de Barco in the 1770s after the Jesuits were expelled from Mexico, wrote an insight historical and ethnographic study of the Peninsula, entitled, The Natural History of Baja California. The last Jesuit to be presented with his work is Francisco Xavier Clavijero's 4 volume Historia de la Antigua Caifornia was published in 1789. It is the forerunner of modern history with scholarly attention to sources.
These Jesuit scholars, observers, and writers not only provided information for the continuation of their evangelization on the Peninsula, but have left contemporary society with a wealth of information about Baja California in the late 17th and 18th centuries.
Biography: Russell M. Magnaghi has been teaching History at Northern Michigan University since 1969 and has been a member of the Society since 1989. He received his Ph.D. in 1970 from St. Louis University. His field of study is the colonial Americas and in particular the non-evangelization work of the Jesuits in the Western Hemisphere among other topics. He is the author of some dozen monographs and over two hundred articles, some of which have been published in Terrae Incognitae.
“Revealing Nuevo México and the Southern Plains:
The Remarkable Martínez Manuscript Map of 1602”
J. Paul Mathias
In April 1602, on orders from the Viceroy of Nueva España, a small but uniquely important map was hurriedly researched and hand-drawn by cosmographer Enrico Martínez, and submitted to the Viceroy, who relayed it to Spain’s King Phillip III. Royal authorities were troubled by negative reports associated with Spanish efforts to settle and explore in the remote North American province of Nuevo México. There, Governor Juan de Oñate ruled at San Gabriel, the capital and earliest European colony within the interior of today’s United States. The King was anxious to obtain accurate and comprehensive facts on which to base decisions regarding the future of the isolated province and, toward that end, the Martínez map realistically depicted San Gabriel and several Indian pueblos adjacent to immense, sparsely inhabited plains traversed by an extensive river system. The mapped area reached from the upper Rio Grande in present New Mexico eastward to the Kansas-Missouri border, and south from Colorado to Mexico City, encompassing one-seventh of the 48 contiguous United States, and most of northwestern Mexico.
The King’s eventual decision was to retain Nuevo México, ostensibly for religious reasons. Governor Oñate resigned and the capital was moved to nearby Santa Fé, then under construction. The influence of the Martínez map is unknown; nonetheless, if Spain had retreated from Nuevo México, rival Europeans may have been emboldened to encroach into the enormous territory mapped by Enrico Martínez.
The map eventually disappeared into Spain’s archives where, three centuries later, it was discovered by an American. Its unique cartographic attributes and historic importance were quickly recognized. Because the primary source of Martínez’s mapped data was a small group of Oñate’s soldier-explorers with personal knowledge of the lands depicted, the map is the earliest in existence based on first-hand observation within the Western Interior of the United States. Moreover, it boasts many other cartographic firsts, including the true course of the Rio Grande to the Gulf of Mexico.
Since the map’s discovery, several researchers have briefly noted its historic significance and unusual realism, yet an extensive examination has not been published. This presentation will summarize such an analysis.
Biography: Paul Mathias is from the upper Rio Grande area of the high San Luis Valley in southern Colorado where his early education took place at a small country school of 320 students in 12 grades. Mathias subsequently earned a degree in Petroleum Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines and was employed for almost thirty years by major and independent oil companies as well as with his own company until retiring. He is the author of several petroleum technology-related papers and was active in the 90,000-member Society of Petroleum Engineers. Mathias has been a member of SHD since 1987, serving as the General Chairman of the 2001 SHD Annual Meeting in Denver. He is also a charter member of the Rocky Mountain Map Society, of which he was the second President and is currently on the Board of Directors.
“The American Southwest in de la Porte’s Le voyageur français: Stupid Californians
and Lords of the Black House”
Intellectuals in France during the latter half of the eighteenth century spent considerable time attempting to catalog all knowledge available to the Western world. To this end were produced, of course, L’Encyclopédie, but also compilations in the fields of botany, medicine, and music, but to name a few.
Not to be lost in this effort to document all that was known were compilations of travel narratives. Beginning in 1703 came a collection of letters from around the world written by Jesuit missionaries. By 1746 and extending to 1789, Abbé Prévost’s Histoire générale des voyages appeared one volume at a time, compiling and translating travel narratives from a variety of sources. Another religieux, Abbé de la Porte published a 26 volume (later expanded to 42) set of travels organized by geographical location. Both Prévost and de la Porte sought to bring the world to the fingertips of the French reader through the writings of travelers both careful and careless. In so doing, they informed the space between the authentic traveler (Bougainville) and the imagined (Hennepin, and later, Chateaubriand) through the use of authoritative unidentified first-person narration.
A close reading of Volume 10 of de la Porte’s Le voyageur français offers rich examples of unaccountable authority in three narratives devoted to Louisiana, Mexico, and California. These three texts offer a view of the type of document existing between fact and fiction that placed the emphasis on offering a rousing tale rather than a meticulous rendering of an exotic locale. In the process, use of such ambiguous narrative voices helped shape a French view of the New World that could often lead to future disillusionment.
Statement: While the Letter on Louisiana has been discussed often, I have not yet been able to find cogent discussions of the Mexico or California (Baja) sections. I believe my discussion of narrative voice throughout the volume will open a new way to consider the value of such compilations.
Biography: James Matthews is an Associate Professor of French at Illinois Wesleyan University where he teaches French Language and Literature, Humanities, and International Studies, and where he also served for 7 ½ years as Dean of Students. He holds both a Master’s degree and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. He has previously published on travel narratives by Marquette and de Tocqueville, as well as presented papers on Duran and La Salle. He is working on a larger study of French travel narratives from 1660-1860 which is tentatively entitled The Reluctant Voyageur.
“Plantation Economy and Slavery as Represented in Late
Eighteenth Century Maps of Suriname”
From 1768 to 1777, the wealthy Dutch colony of Suriname was almost continuously in a state of war. For years, a small but significant number of slaves had escaped the harsh plantation regime and disappeared into the rainforest. The colonial government with the aid of local patrols went after the runaway slaves known as maroons. These patrols often set fire to maroon villages and their provision grounds. In retaliation, the maroons repeatedly attacked plantations for food, ammunition, and plantation slaves. In 1772, the Dutch government sent out Colonel Louis Henri Fourgeoud in charge of 1500 soldiers to assist in this effort. But it was not until 1776, when the Boni tribe, the most aggressive and feared faction of Maroons, began to cross the Marowijne River into French Guiana that raids on plantations began to diminish.
Against this backdrop, I plan to discuss three large scale maps of Suriname. The first is a manuscript map of 1777 entitled Extrait de la carte hollandaise…de Surinam. It was drafted by Simon Mentelle, an engineer in the employ of Victor-Pierre Malouet. Malouet was sent from France to assume the post of ordonnateur in neighboring French Guiana in 1777. However the first stop for the French diplomat and official was Suriname, where he remained for 49 days. The stated purpose of the sojourn in wealthy and war torn Suriname was “to examine the soil, the climate, the plantations, and the comparison of all things [in Suriname] with what is or can be at Cayenne.” But never far from his thoughts in his published reports and letters on Suriname and French Guiana (published in Collection de memoires et correspondances officielles sur l’administration des colonies… ) was the issue of slavery, ongoing slave rebellions, and the contentious issue of runaway slaves who had already crossed the Marowijne River into French Guiana.
Among the documents used in the preparation of the 1802 publication was Mentelle’s map (housed at the Library of Congress). This map covers eastern Suriname from the Suriname River to the Marowijne River, and it includes the capital of Paramaribo, the settlement of Jewish Savannah (Joden Savanna), and the outlines of many plantations (without occupants’ names). A conspicuous feature of the map is a zig-zag line running approximately 94 km. from Jewish Savannah to the Atlantic Coast. This was the defensive cordon which Governor Nepveu began to build in 1776 at an immense sum and against the advice of Louis Fourgeoud and others. It was to be manned at regular intervals, and it was designed to protect plantations north of it from fugitive slave raids and to deter plantation slaves from escaping into the interior.
I will also consider two later maps. The first is an eight sheet printed map of Suriname of 1784 highlighting the rivers and creeks of the colony. Although this map was executed in a time of relative peace after the end of the first Boni Maroon War, it offers detailed information on the locations of some Maroon communities still in Suriname and the locations of provision grounds used by recently emigrated Maroons. I will correlate information from this map with textual information from a recent scholarly secondary source, Wim Hoogbergen’s The Boni Maroon Wars in Suriname. The second is a printed real property map of 1801 showing most plantations, with their names and sizes. I will consider the names of plantations as a reflection of the varied origins of the planters who came to Suriname not only from Holland, but from France, England, and Portugal (Sephardic Jews).
Biography: Anthony Mullan is the Fine Arts specialist for the Humanities and Social Sciences Division of the Library of Congress. He holds an M.A. degree in art history from the University of Virginia and has completed course work toward a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland. He has conducted extensive research on manuscript maps of South and Central America. He is the author of several articles in this field. In 2005, he was awarded a Staff Fellowship at the Kluge Center of the Library of Congress to pursue his research project: Texts of Travel, Exploration, and Conquest in Hispanic America, 1500-1900: A Selective and Annotated Guide to Materials in Special Collections of the Library of Congress. He has a tentative publishing agreement for this work.
“Tabula Moderna: Alterius Hemispherii: The First Map to Document Magellan’s Voyage and Cortes’s Conquest”
I will present the steps I took to determine the authorship and date of the manuscript map of the Pacific, and the arguments pro and contra of its dating before April 1525, and authorship by Lorenz Fries.
Our map is an authentic map. Our map is an original work, not a copy after another map (there is none) and our map is on early XVI century paper in an early XVI century hand. Our map has been constructed by an experienced geographer (German) based on identifiable sources, all pre-1525. Our map has never been depicted, printed, described or analyzed before.
It is drawn as a tabula nova for one of the Fries editions of Ptolemy: same size, same design, same frame, same text fragments in verso. The space left open for woodcut illustrations in verso of the map is the same as the space used on other 1525 maps. Our map carries number 51 where the Fries edition of Ptolemy of 1525 stops at map 50.
Our map must have been made after publication of the Latin version of Cortes' second letter (1524) and before the discovery of Peru was shown on European maps (1529). Other geographical data support a date between 1525 and 1530. Yucatan is not on the map, whereas it is on all maps after 1530. Six or seven names from Cortes' letter of 1522 are placed on our map, never to be found again afterwards. Japan is rejected in favour of an island Solol, following closely Transsylvanus' text of 1522. The Moluccas are shown 3 degrees within the Spanish hemisphere of interest, a placing used by Spain in its Badajoz negotiations of 1524, never afterwards. The detailed analysis that follows shows that our map must have been made by Lorenz Fries in preparation for the 1525 edition of the Ptolemy atlas but for unknown reasons was never published. Maybe it came too late, as the latest data included are from late 1524 and the date of publication was April 1525.
Our map therefore is the first to show Cortes' conquest of Mexico and thus the first western map of Mexico. It competes with Pigafettas' 22 pictures for being the first map of the Southern Cone of South America; Magellan's Strait. It is the first map to show the Southland, based on actual observation. It is the first map of the Pacific, based on observation. It competes with Pigafetta on being the first map of the Marianna Islands and the Philippines.
Biography: Frederik Muller (1946) worked the first 25 years of his career as a doctor, mainly in developing countries. His Ph.D. (1981) is on comparing health care systems in Latin America. He became an antiquarian bookseller in 1998, and specializes in the maps, books and documents of the early voyages of discovery.
"Folk Healers and Curanderos in the American Southwest"
Early Spanish explorers and chroniclers who traversed what is now the Southwestern United States were often the first Europeans to have made contact with the hundreds of Amerindian groups of the area and served as proto-ethnographers of sorts. They documented with varying degrees of formality the well established, comprehensive, and diffused healing practices of the indigenous peoples of the Americas. These accounts of Amerindian healing practices and their interaction with the cultural and healing practices of the explorers and shipwrecked travelers have survived in sometimes objective, and other times clearly denunciatory writings in the form of diarios, or travel diaries, and chronicles.
The idea of the healer or shaman as mediator between natural and supernatural worlds is of ancient origin and existed in both Old and New World cultures. Enrique Pupo-Walker describes the symbiotic roles of the curandero and paciente by explaining that, (Tr. From Spanish - Pupo-Walker 775) in very concrete terms, the Medicine Man and his patient represent the extremes of collective thought; that is to say, the specifics of the infirmity (the patient) and the magical abstraction (the shaman); an abstraction that, as a totalizing signifier integrated a wide range of meanings. (Ortiz 2010).
When the significant relationships between patient and healer is portrayed in literature and history, and are infused with indigenous symbols such as the gourd or rattle and Christian signs such as the cross or holy water, the potential for the creation of new meaning multiplies. Historical commentary about the vocation of the curandero, or folk healer in the Great Sonoran Desert area, has produced reactions ranging from reproach to marvel and admiration. Some Spanish chroniclers such as Motolinía have perceived Native American curing rituals as inherently evil.
One exception to this negative perception of the curandero is the collection of narratives found in the Naufragios (tr. Shipwrecked) by Alvar Núnez Cabeza de Vaca. In his and in other writings of the colonial period, a working knowledge of Native American pharmacopeia was vital to survival. Passed down through generations of curanderos to laymen and housewives, this ancient body of knowledge gradually blended, in some instances, with European pharmacological science to produce a hybrid of medical practices. Writers and students of nature of the sixteenth century began fairly promptly to incorporate native knowledge into the corpus of the European apothecary.
According to Robert Trotter, Spanish friars and doctors, especially in the frontier areas of New Spain, disseminated books of medical and botanical content for the general betterment of colonial life. The most impressive of these early medical compendiums was the Florilegio medicinal, a three-volume set consisting of medical, surgical, and pharmacological information. Written by a Jesuit lay brother, Juan de Esteyneffer in 1711, this compendium endured for centuries along the northern frontier areas of New Spain. Housewives and lay practitioners, although not considered curanderos have had, even in modern times, access to the Florilegio, which has brought them knowledge formerly considered esoteric. In this study I will compare the 1711 edition of the Florilegio Medicinal with healing practices found in the Naufragios of Núnez Cabeza de Vaca and also with accounts of a few modern, renowned folk healers of the Southwest and the Great Sonoran Desert.
Biography: Ann Ortiz is an Associate Professor of Spanish and Latin American Literature at Campbell University in Buies Creek, North Carolina. She received her BA in Music at East Carolina University, the MA in Latin American Studies from the University of Arizona in Tucson, and the Ph.D. in Spanish American Literature at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Ortiz is a member of the Cape Fear Living History Society and the North Carolina Association of Historians. She is also a Director for the College of Arts and Sciences Honors Program at Campbell.
“Byrd, Plane, and Fuel: A Critical Analysis”
Keith A. Pickering
On May 9, 1926, Richard E. Byrd and his pilot, Floyd Bennett, claimed to have reached the North Pole after a flight of less than 16 hours from their base at Kings Bay, Spitsbergen. Byrd’s claim has long been controversial and many have doubted its veracity, primarily because of the high speeds he claimed. New primary sources allow us to determine the actual performance of the Josephine Ford, the Fokker tri-motor airplane flown by Byrd, including its fuel consumption. We also determine how the installation of skis altered aircraft performance.
The results of this analysis indicate that Byrd’s claimed speeds exceed the plane’s maximum speed for several hours on the return trip, but only slightly. More critically, Byrd’s aircraft would have needed an additional 800 pounds of fuel beyond its actual load to fly his claimed route at his claimed speeds. Given more reasonable assumptions for the flight, I show that Byrd’s turnaround would have come just as his aircraft had expended half of its onboard fuel. Finally, I propose a possible actual flight that is consistent with the historical record, with the performance of the aircraft, and with Byrd’s sextant observations. From this analysis, the highest latitude Byrd could have reached was about 88° 40’ N.
Biography: Keith A. Pickering was a four-year National Merit Scholar at the University of Kansas, where he earned his BGS degree in 1977. As an independent scholar and amateur astronomer, he became interested in issues of navigation and the history of navigation in the 1980’s, and since then has become one of the world’s leading authorities on Columbus. Pickering was editor of DIO,The International Journal of Scientific History during 1997-2005. He is interested in ancient Greek astronomy, having published a number of papers on the works of Hipparchos and the ancient star catalog. He was co-author of a proposal on the orientation of the pyramids of Egypt that appeared in Nature in 2001 (vol. 412, p. 699).
“Sensual Discoveries: European Encounters of Mayan Chocolate and Spices since the 16th Century”
Mark J. Sciscenti
This presentation will focus on the history of chocolate, including the botanical and ecological sources of chocolate and the traditional uses of it by Mesoamericans and later Europeans. There will also be a tasting of three historically authentic chocolates.
Biography: Mark J. Sciscenti is a chocolate historian, artisan, and owner of World Tree Chocolates. He has been actively studying chocolate and working with this sacred and healing food since 1999. In the early 2000s he recreated and developed historically authentic drinking chocolate recipes based upon anthropological and archeological information and historical documents. These drinking chocolates represent the style of chocolate consumption by the pre-contact Mesoamericans, c. 2000 BC-1500 AD, and the Europeans in the 1500s-1800s.
“Fashioning Oregon: Henry Tanner and Cartographical Expression of Continentalism in the 1820s”
Henry Schenck Tanner’s “A Map of North America” represented a significant placeholder in the early American literature on continental expansion of the republic to the West. The map was included in the fourth folio of Tanner’s New American Atlas, published in 1823. The map was a masterful summary of information derived from existing maps, travel accounts, and government documents. I believe it was the first printed map to apply to a region the name “Oregon Terry.” Tanner (1786-1858) likely adopted this toponym from Congressman John Floyd from Virginia, who introduced a bill in January 1822 to establish a “Territory of Origon” [sic] on the Pacific Coast. On Tanner’s map, “Oregon Terry.” extended from the Missouri River to the Pacific Ocean suggesting an American right of possession by contiguity at a time of ongoing deliberations between the United States and Great Britain over sovereignty of territory north of the 42nd parallel. Tanner didn’t extend the 49th parallel boundary west of the Rocky Mountains, thus implying the validity of American territorial claim to the north. It was also the first map to name “Long’s Peak” and may have been the first to identify the proposed Ukase of Alexander I of Russia in 1821.
Tanner’s map and his New American Atlas were very influential. I will draw upon contemporary reviews, newspaper accounts, Congressional discussion, Tanner’s own accompanying Geographical Memoir and contemporary cartographic literature to illustrate this influence. International diplomatic focus on the Pacific Northwest during the first three decades of the nineteenth century was communicated to the public through a variety of media and produced what J. Brian Harley called the “…context of cartography.” Tanner’s map both reflected this activity and contributed to it, thus becoming no less a political document than Congressman Floyd’s bill. Tanner’s “Map of North America” helped to construct and fashion the concept and definition of Oregon Territory. In so doing, it both anticipated continental expansion of the United States and helped to create a platform for discussion of the ambitions embodied in the term Manifest Destiny introduced over two decades later.
By 1845 the word Oregon had become embedded in the national consciousness and was in print everywhere. In 1823 that had been far from the case. Acculturation to the concepts of continental expansion in the United States occurred over decades and encompassed many forms of intellectual discourse including popular ideologies. Cartographic communication has always been influential and a powerful element of that discourse to the degree “…of acquiring the force of law in the landscape.” Tanner’s “Map of North America” was a masterful example of that communication.
Biography: James Walker has been a member of SHD for many years. He has published several articles and book reviews including an article in Terrae Incognitae (Volume 31, 1999). He has served on the Executive Council of SHD and was Chair of the Long Range Planning Committee. He is also a member of other societies with interests in cartography and exploration. He is a retired physician and has collected maps with focus on North America, the Pacific Northwest and the Transmississippi West for over 35 years. He enjoys pursuing research topics which relate to maps and mapping of the Pacific Northwest. In February 2009 he curated an exhibit of maps drawn largely from his collection which appeared at the Oregon State Capitol as part of the Sesquicentennial celebration and was subsequently on exhibit at the Oregon Historical Society. He is currently helping to curate an exhibit planned for 2012 on mapping at the time of the encounters in the 16-17th centuries.