Arranged alphabetically by author
The World Image Expressed in the Rudimentum Novitiorum
Wesley A. Brown
The Rudimentum Novitiorum (“RN”) printed in Lübeck, Germany in 1475 contains a world map that is of primary importance to students of cartography for several reasons. First, although it is printed three years after Isidore’s T-O, it is more than a diagram, with over 100 place-names and geographic features, and is therefore the first printed map in a modern sense. Second, the map derives from a long family of world maps based on the Christian dictates and medieval geographic concepts (“mappaemundi”), and yet, because the beginning of printing coincides with the end of this period of geographic thought, it is essentially the only printed map representing mappaemundi. Thus the map provides a fascinating window into the mind of the medieval cartographer. Finally, many of the place-names and features of the map depict concepts of distant places or wonders that were generally derived from ancient travel, yet the map is printed on the eve of the explosion of discovery that is so commonly the emphasis of SHD.
The presenter would attempt to deliver a discussion of the map, including a brief world tour of its many wonders, that will not only fascinate the audience in an area they may have paid little attention to, but also set the context from which the period of discovery derived. It may, therefore, be helpful to place the talk early in the symposium.
The talk represents highlights from a recent publication under the same title in the Philip Lee Phillips Society Occasional Paper Series. A detailed series of slides has been developed to accompany the talk.
Some Problems in the History of Spanish Overseas Cartography, 1500-1700
The best way to approach a theme as large as Spanish overseas cartography under the Habsburgs seems to be geographical, roughly following the divisions of the holdings of the Archivo General de Indias in Sevilla. Working in this way, it is possible to relate the appearance of maps and mapmakers to the social and economic structures which gave them birth; a thematic approach would surely involve a good deal of overlapping.
Within this general geographical approach, a good many problems arise. There is first the question of the relationship between Spanish overseas cartography and the portolan chart tradition, which evidently affected maritime charts for some decades. Then there is the question of the contribution of the navigation school at Sevilla whose work has only recently been closely studied, and the problem of the so-called policy of secrecy. Much work has also been done recently on the military engineers who became very active after the Anglo-Dutch piratical threat that began in the 1580s, and also on the contribution of the Spanish Jesuits whose work should be contrasted with that of the Franciscans. Finally, there is the need to assess the indigenous Creole contribution, not only in the pinturas sent back to Spain in the 1580s, but also in a mass of other maps largely preserved in Mexico City.
The Secret Agenda of Robert Dale (1809-1853):
Australian Explorer and Liverpool Timber Merchant
Karen S. Cook
Robert Dale, a little-known figure in early Western Australian exploration, deserves more recognition. His brief entry in the Bicentennial Dictionary of Western Australia includes his arrival in Swan River (present-day Perth) as a British Army Ensign in 1829, his explorations and acquisition of lands in Western Australia, his promotion to Lieutenant in 1832, and his departure for England in 1833. It omits mention of his remarkable nine-foot-long, panoramic view of King Georges Sound in Western Australia. My interest in Robert Dale was aroused when he emerged as the possible leader of a secret expedition to the center of Australia (the subject of my talk to the October 2000 SHD meeting in Washington). According to an account published in the Leeds Mercury newspaper in 1834, a British expedition had marched inland from the coast in 1832 and discovered a colony of several hundred descendants of a Dutch shipwreck. My recent exploration of Robert Dale's life in England before and after Australia has formed part of a research project looking for historical evidence of that expedition. Thurston Dale, Robert's father, had served as Aide-de-Camp to Robert's great uncle, General William Dyott, during the Napoleonic Wars. General Dyott's influence led to Robert's appointment as an Ensign in the British Army's 63rd Regiment just as it was being posted abroad to the newly founded colony of Western Australia. After four years of surveying, clearing roads, and exploring in Western Australia, Robert Dale chose to return to England rather than accompany the 63rd Regiment to its next posting in India. When he resigned his promising military career to join family members in the timber trade in Liverpool, General Dyott was surprised and displeased. Robert Dale's career shift may have been inspired by the native mahogany (jarrah) stands in Western Australia, because he later lobbied for mahogany's use in shipbuilding and wrote a book about the South American mahogany trade. It is uncertain if he ever returned to Australia, although he retained property there. Oakover, the name of his property near Swan River, harks back to his family connections in Derbyshire. Robert Dale died unmarried in Bath in 1853. These and other biographical details help to bring this early explorer of Western Australia out of the historical shadows, even though his participation in the purported expedition to central Australia remains a mystery.
British East Florida Revealed: The Surveys of William Gerard DeBrahm
The middle decades of the 18th century saw France and Britain locked in a global struggle for control of trade and territory. In North America, a series of victories in that conflict, locally known as the French and Indian War, insured the British control over France’s vast holdings east of the Mississippi River. Spain, which had belatedly allied with France, had the misfortune of seeing the British gain her ancient province, La Florida, in the negotiations of 1863. Never a center of their development and barely settled, Florida was at best hazily known to the Spanish who had somewhat reluctantly added it to their empire two centuries earlier. To the British, the southeastern quadrant of North America was truly terrae incognitae. The ink was scarcely dry on the treaty of peace as the British Board of Trade began to formulate policies aimed at the orderly settlement and profitable development of two newly created colonies, East and West Florida. After spending some months scouring the best information available in London, the Lords of Trade were forced to admit to the King: “We find ourselves under the greatest difficulties arising from the want of exact surveys of these countries in America many parts of which have never been surveyed at all, and others so imperfectly that the Charts and Maps thereof are not to be depended upon, and in this situation we are reduced to making Representations to Your Majesty, founded upon little or no information, or of delaying the important Service of settling these Parts of Your Majesty’s Dominions.” This latter condition was clearly intolerable. In this paper we will investigate how George III’s government proceeded to fill that information gap by creating two new colonial administrative offices, the posts of Surveyor General for the Northern and Southern Districts of North America. Particular attention will be paid to the work and accomplishments of the Southern Surveyor General, the prolific German engineer-cartographer William Gerard DeBrahm. It was he who formed the template for the settlement of British East Florida.
Aerial Pathfinders: The Role of United States Army Aviators
in Exploring and Charting America’s Airway Frontier, 1918
Ralph EhrenbergDuring the nineteenth century United States Army topographical engineers explored, surveyed and mapped a series of American frontiers as they projected and constructed a national transportation and communications network: waterways in the Old Northwest, wagon roads in the Pacific Northwest, and railroad routes across the Rocky Mountains. With the advent of powered flight in 1903, a new kind of Army explorer emerged to survey the uncharted frontier of airways. Known as aerial pathfinders, these Army pilots combined the rugged, fearless individualist attributes of the celebrated nineteenth century "mountain men" with the technical and scientific training of military engineers.
Following World War I, the Army Air Service launched a series of pathfinding expeditions to locate, develop and map aerial routes and municipal landing fields throughout the country at a time when there were no airways, airports, emergency fields or support facilities. Three of the most noteworthy pathfinding flights will be described: Major Theodore C. Macauly’s transcontinental flight from San Diego to Jacksonville, Florida; Lieutenant Colonel Rutherford S. Hartz’s "Rim of the United States" flight; and Major Ora M. Baldinger’s expedition from Long Island to Minnesota.
Like their illustrious predecessors, Army aerial pathfinders documented their pioneer flights with reports, maps, and photographs. The data they collected were used to produce the first master map of the United States showing flight routes and land fields, which was widely used by military and private pilots for flight planning purposes.
Cartography and Imagination: Exploring and Mapping the Great Basin
As the last region in the United States to be explored and mapped, the Great Basin remained a mystery until the mid-19th century. This paper deciphers the relationship between exploration and geographic knowledge by interpreting maps of the region during a 150-year period (1710-1860). The paper begins by identifying several key mythical geographical features that persisted for a remarkably long time. These features include non-existent rivers (such as the Rio [Santa] Buenaventura flowing westward through the region to the Pacific Ocean), and prominent east-west trending mountain ranges (when in fact the region is basin and range country whose mountains run north-south). One key geographic feature - a large inland lake - provided an early landmark. Often called Lake Timponogos, this is probably the Great Salt Lake. It is depicted on some of the earliest maps to suggest that the Great Basin is an area of interior drainage - including Francisco Barreiro’s Corographico e Hydrographico de las Provincias...de la Nueba España (1728). But Barreiro’s manuscript map also contains several of the mythical geographic features that would deceive cartographers for another century and a quarter. This paper employs several key maps to interpret the region’s early exploration and representation, including Alexander von Humboldt’s Map of New Spain (ca. 1809), Aaron Arrowsmith’s A New Map of Mexico (1816), John Melish’s Map of the United States (1816), John H. Robinson’s A Map of Mexico, Louisiana and the Missouri Territory (1819), White, Gallaher, and White’s Mapa de los Estados Unidos de Méjico (1828), and Thomas Bradford’s United States (1835). By 1838, David Burr’s Map of the United States of North America shows the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and although characterizing the entire area as a “Great Sandy Plain,” recognizes that the region’s streams are “soon absorbed in the sands.” By 1842, the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge’s map of Central America II, Including Texas, California and the Northern States of Mexico still presented much mythical information, or rather misinformation, but things were changing. Based on field work as well as narratives from Joseph Walker and other mountain men, maps rapidly became more accurate. These include maps by Charles Preuss and John C. Frémont in the mid 1840s, and others such as John Disturnell’s Mapa de los Estados Unidos de Méjico (1847). Although these maps reveal the region’s interior drainage and depict the river named by Frémont to honor Alexander von Humboldt, they too, contain some imaginary features. After 1850, the region’s topography was rapidly articulated following extensive mineral prospecting and railroad surveying. These efforts confirmed that the Great Basin, as it was now called, is a huge area of interior drainage. In focusing on why mythical geographic features persisted, the paper discusses the role of Native American informants and prevailing concepts of how rivers should flow (to the sea) as factors that shape both maps and popular images of places.
Early Trading Voyages in Hudson Bay
The Hudson’s Bay Company is today the premier department store in Canada. A Royal Charter created the Company on 2 May 1670 by King Charles II of England following a successful speculative fur-trading voyage by the ketch Nonsuch, of approximately 45 tons, in 1668. The state of the contemporary practice of navigation and the knowledge of Hudson Bay and the surrounding area in effect meant that the 1668 voyage was more a mission into the unknown than, for example, the first lunar landing. Fur trade historiography today ignores that element of risk associated with the annual transatlantic yoyages of the company to resupply their trading posts. The assumption of a safe passage is in fact tacitly supported by the low loss rate of ships. However, the story of the early trading voyages has with few notable exceptions, such as the action by successful attack of d’Iberville against the Company ships, been left untold.
The Hudson’s Bay Company archives, co-located with the Provincial Archives of Manitoba, contain the surviving logs and masters’ journals of the voyages. No trans-Atlantic voyage records before 1751 exist. However there are a number of accounts of trading voyages made by the sloops or other small trading vessels attached to each of the trading posts. Using these records, this paper will examine the practice of navigation and the extension of hydrographic knowledge of the area to 1751.
The significant advances in navigation, the measurement of longitude and the station pointer, (an essential tool for accurate charts), both belong to the third quarter of the century. Long distance ocean voyages still relied heavily on dead reckoning to estimate longitude and coastal sailing and pilotage was heavily dependent on local knowledge. It is important to remember that the area of Hudson and James Bays is 20% larger than the area of the North and Baltic Seas where local knowledge and sailing practice had been developed over centuries. The local trading voyages within the Bay, to date ignored, were therefore extremely important in building the knowledge base for coastal navigation and pilotage.
The hazard of bars at the entrance to rivers up which the HBC trading posts were located prompted some survey work in the 1740s. This too represents an important part of the development of navigational information. However, it must also be considered within the context of the challenge to the Company’s monopoly launched by Arthur Dobbs, later a Governor of North Carolina, and the Middleton exploring expedition of 1741. Critics of the Company described its activity during the period following the Treaty of Utrecht by which France recognized the English title to the area as “asleep by the bay.” Some historians have argued that this allegation is unjust. What does the record of the Early Trading Voyages suggest?
A Curator’s Choices - Heading West: Mapping the Territory
Images of the West on maps for the East
From suspicious islands, to great deserts, to mythical rivers and golden cities, to a land gridded and controlled and in order, maps have provided audiences not in the West with particular images and ideas about the West .
This informal slide talk will reflect the design efforts going into an exhibit at the New York Public Library, "Heading West, Mapping the Territory," with representative examples of maps from the exhibit, and impressions the maps have made on Alice Hudson, a native Tennessean, now a New Yorker, for 30 years.
The exhibit, open from March 9 to May 19, 2001, provided an overview of the maps of the West held in The New York Public Library map collections. Not a "treasures" show, it focused on maps accessible to everyday folk, and part of "popular culture."
Teaching the Explorers: Inuit Contributions to Arctic Discoveries
H. G. Jones
In 1839, a young Baffinland Eskimo was taken aboard a whaling ship to Aberdeen, where he charmed the Scots with kayak maneuvers and excited his hosts with accounts of rich whaling waters not yet exploited by Europeans or Americans. Eenoolooapik drew a remarkably accurate map of Baffin waters, and in the spring he guided the ship back to his birthplace in a bay now known as Cumberland Sound. William Penny’s Bon Accord was the first vessel to enter the sound since John Davis discovered it in the 1580s, and for several decades Cumberland remained prime whaling waters. Eenoolooapik’s experiences in the far-off land were not lost on his younger sister Tookoolitoo and her husband Ebierbing, who in1853 persuaded another ship captain to take them to Britain. They remained two years, were entertained by Queen Victoria, and returned to Baffin and occupied a special status among their Inuit neighbors.
Still, history might have forgotten about those three Inuit travelers except for the appearance at Baffin in 1860 of an enigmatic American with an illusory plan. Charles Francis Hall proposed to live with the Inuit and learn their language and habits, then sail with them through Frobischer “Strait” on his way to King William Island to solve the disappearance of Sir John Franklin’s expedition. So when in November 1860 crinoline-dressed Tookoolitoo came aboard the George Henry addressing him in broken English, the quixotic Hall recognized immediately that he had found his teacher. Tookoolitoo and Ebierbing took Hall into their family, and they faithfully traveled with him until his mysterious death in 1872. Two other members of Ebierbing’s family - his century-old grandmother Ookijoxy and his uncle Ugarng - were equally contributary in the explorer’s education. Ookijoxy told Hall stories about white men who had been on Baffin centuries before, and she made a drawing of a stone monument that according to Inuit lore they had left behind - a magical inukshuk to which she paid homage during the caribou-hunting season. She and Ugarng directed the skeptical Hall to Kodlurnarn (“The White Man’s Island”), where well-preserved 16th-century English artifacts led the American to recognize the site of Martin Frobisher’s ill-fated attempt to establish a mining colony nearly 300 years earlier. Meanwhile, Ugarng frustrated Hall’s westward plan by proving that Frobisher “Strait” was in fact a dead-end bay, blocking any water passage to Foxe Basin. Thus, without a written language, this Inuit family’s traditional knowledge altered Euro-American exploration by teaching Qallunaat: (1) the location and significance of Cumberland Sound, (2) the location of Martin Frobisher’s 16th-century expeditions, and (3) the shape of the body of water named for Frobisher but which for a century many mapmakers had placed in southern Greenland.
My paper will be accompanied by slides to illustrate this particular Inuit family’s contributions to European and American exploration of the Arctic.
Holy Explorers: The Search for Monastic Sites in Early Medieval Europe
In the period of ca. 400-800, as Christianity was gaining and asserting its power, Western Europe witnessed numerous conversions of local tribes and peoples, in many cases brought about by missionary activity. This process had a clear territorial dimension: Christianity was fighting for new geographical space as well as new souls. The new-founded monasteries and churches served as the strongholds of faith on several levels: they were centers of economic, social, and political influence, as well as spiritual and intellectual centers. Thus the choice of a site for a new monastery could become an important political and strategic decision.
When early medieval writers, such as Gregory of Tours, Bede, and anonymous compilers of saints lives, recorded new foundations, they sometimes gave vivid details about the circumstances surrounding the search for a place. My paper will focus on these accounts and explore the following questions: what things did the monks consider when looking for a suitable place; how did they go about exploring the terrain; how did they perceive an ideal location? For instance, when Sturmi, the founder of Fulda, an important monastery in Germany, was searching for a place in 740s, he investigated geographical location, the quality of soil, water sources, and the disposition of the local tribes. In that, he used his own practical experience as well as the practical experience of other people. At the same time, his activity had a different dimension: Sturmi, like many other monks, was looking for a place of special holiness, distinctively marked by God, and here he relied on visions to show him the way. In analyzing this and other accounts, which help us reconstruct the picture of early medieval explorations, I shall also consider a question which I think is very important for scholars who study pre-modern geographical concepts: what did these medieval "explorers" think they were doing? In other words, did they perceive their activity, which certainly looks like exploration to us, as such? Or did they resemble Columbus, who did not know that he was discovering America? Thus ultimately my paper will aim at expanding our understanding of how early medieval people perceived geographical space and its exploration.
Juan de Fuca, the Myth and the Maps
The voyager Juan de Fuca is not apocryphal. His reported voyage of 1592 most probably is! This voyage was first made generally public by Samuel Purchas in his Hakluytus Posthumus of 1625.
The purpose of this paper is not to re-hash the often-discussed veracity of this voyage. Rather, it will focus on the various possible cartographic representations of this story on maps before and after 1625.
The initial report of de Fuca's voyage did not receive much attention until 1750. At that time, the cartographers Joseph Delisle and Philip Buache represented the Strait of Juan de Fuca on many of their maps. However, long before this, it appears that this same voyage effected the cartographic representation of the west coast of North America on the maps of many map makers and, in some instances, perhaps without their understanding why.
To date, the author has found four maps which pre-date 1625 that possibly contain information from the reported 1592 voyage. From these four initial cartographic representations, this paper will attempt to present a progression of cartographic representations of this voyage from initial broken shoreline, to partial unnamed strait, to full unnamed strait, to variously named straits.
In addition, this paper will include various uses of the name Juan de Fuca on maps, including straits, rivers, seas, etc. A partial listing of the cartographic representations of this voyage and the use of the name Juan de Fuca will be made available to the audience.
Finally, the paper will discuss how this name became associated with the waterway currently bearing this name.
It is the author's hope that this presentation will allow participants to make their own conclusions regarding the information presented and stimulate additional comments and information at the conclusion of the paper.
Lafora and Urrutia’s Map of Northern New Spain (1769):
Defining the Spanish Frontier in North America
Anthony P. Mullan The 1769 map by Lafora and Urrutia is a well executed, detailed manuscript map of the internal provinces of New Spain (Northern Mexico and Southwest United States) prepared as a result of the 1766-1768 expedition to survey presidios and defenses of northern New Spain. It includes administrative boundaries, pictorial representations of relief, selected European and Native American towns and settlements, fortifications (presidios), mines, missions, haciendas, Native American nations, rivers, streams, lakes, coastlines, and coastal features. It is comprised of four sheets which are numbered separately: Primera Parte (Gulf of California to Texas), Segunda Parte (West Texas to the Louisiana border), Tercera Parte (Gulf of California to Nueva Galicia), and Quarta Parte (Nueva Galicia to the Gulf of Mexico). Except for the "Tercera Parte," all sheets were the work Urrutia and Lafora (Captain of Engineers) alone. The map extends from 248 degrees to 286 degrees longitude and from 22 degrees to 37 degrees north latitude. A prominent note along the 30 degrees north latitude reads "Paralelo De 30 (graus) o Linea Defensa Proyectada." This note apparently reflects then current Spanish thinking regarding what was the heartland of Hispanic America. If the map's coverage were extended to include all of North America, the thirty-degree line would run through New Orleans and just north of St. Augustine. Along the Red River, a curious note reads "Presidios de Cadachos pertenecientes ala nueba Francia." Variant copies of this manuscript exist in other collections, including the U. S. National Archives, the Huntington Library, the British Library, and the War Ministry (Madrid). However, the copy in the Library of Congress is more detailed than either of those in the National Archives or in the Huntington Library.
Theory versus Practical Application in the History of Early Ocean Navigation
Douglas T. Peck
Much of what we know of early navigation comes from the extant 16th-century writings of Columbus, Martin Cortés, Pedro de Medina, Amerigo Vespucci, Peter Martyr, Richard Eden, William Bourne, and Richard Hakluyt, while the most prominent 20th-century writers on the subject are D. W. Waters, E. G. R. Taylor, and Samuel Morison who draw heavily from these early writers and allied documents. It should be noted that most of the 16th-century writers on navigation were land-bound theoretical mathematicians, cosmographers, or independent writers with no empirical experience in navigation at sea. And in like manner, most of the current widely published writers who interpret these early documents and write on the early history of navigation are also from the ranks of theoretical rather than from experienced professional navigators. This over-emphasis on theory versus practical application is what has produced the undue acceptance of these misconceptions related to early navigation. These misconceptions have resulted in current historians reporting an inaccurate and distorted view of the navigational ability and accomplishments of such early navigators as Columbus, John and Sebastian Cabot, Vespucci, Cartier, Frobisher, and others. This study examines the writings of both the early 16th-cenury and later 20th-century historians to identify and give a dialectical analysis of the misconceptions that have been introduced into the written history of early navigation.
Evolution of the Crew Onboard the Corvette Atrevida during the Malaspina Expedition from 1790 to 1794.
Enrique J Porrua
In 1788, Captains Alejandro Malaspina and José Bustamante y Guerra present ed their proposal for a political-scientific expedition around the world to the office of Spanish Minister of Marine. The expedition, which was intended to be similar to those of the British Captain James Cook and the French colleague Jean F. G. de La Pérouse, was to be the biggest effort ever made by the Spanish monarchy to reach the standards established by her European neighbors in science and natural history and, at the same time, to obtain a better, more accurate idea of the situation in her colonies across the Atlantic. The two enthusiastic officers immediately began the planning of the enterprise. For the expedition to succeed, its organization had to be programmed carefully and every detail measured. Of most importance was to select the correct kind of ships and the appropriate crew too. After some alternative plans, they decided to build two new corvettes especially designed for this extraordinary trip. The design allowed one hundred men onboard. Malaspina and Bustamante selected the leading officers among the most experienced, capable men in the Spanish Navy. They also selected the men who held the positions with most responsibilities. Lieutenant Antonio de Tova Arredondo, who joined the expedition at Bustamante's personal request, was entrusted with the election of the rest of the personnel, which he was to recruit at Arsenal de El Ferrol in northwestern Spain. The final crew of the corvettes at the time of departure consisted of 102 men each, that is two more than the design allowed. Among these men there were officers-astronomers, naturalists (botanists), physicians, priests, a director of charts and maps, and pilots. The rest were troops and seamen. With the exception of the attention given to some of the most relevant members of the expedition, whose activities have been followed very closely, little attention has been paid to the nature and dynamics of the crew. Most of us tend to be satisfied with the list of personnel at the port of departure. However, a closer look reveals that the crew was a very dynamic entity that changed constantly. Indeed, of those 102 men who left Cadiz in 1789, only a small percentage returned to Spain having served in all stages of the trip. Francisco de Paula Anino, priest of the Atrevida, kept a very detailed record of the names and positions of the men onboard that corvette during the trip. His lists named all men onboard in the ports of Valparaiso (1790), Acapulco (1791), Manila (1792), Port Jackson (1793) and Montevideo (1794). Paula's records not only kept track of those who were in good standing with their religious obligations but also allow us to follow the evolution and nature of the crew as he notes those who deserted, died, or did not speak the language.
The presentation will track the positions held by some crew members and will also include examples of what can be inferred from Paula's lists such as how, in order to maintain the necessary number of men, Captain Malaspina had to rely more and more on Indians for the lower positions open, even if they barely could communicate in Spanish.
The Map Maker From Mount Vernon
Most Americans are familiar with George Washington’s role as the leader of the Continental Army or as first President of the United States, and even his well documented role in the planning of the Federal City. Even Washington’s leading biographers, however, have paid little attention to an important constant throughout Washington’s life - a lifelong association with geography and cartography.
Beginning with his early surveying career and throughout his life as a soldier, planter, land speculator, and President, Washington personally surveyed more than 200 tracts of land and prepared or annotated more than 225 maps. Among the maps he prepared are professional land surveys (1749-1752); two maps of the newly formed city of Alexandria (1748-1749); maps related to his military activities in the French and Indian wars and the American Revolution (1754 -1783); maps and surveys related to the acquisition and expansion of his land in the vicinity of Mount Vernon (1760-1799); maps documenting his extensive land holdings along the Virginia frontier (1769 - 1780); and maps and architectural drawings related to the establishment of the Federal city (circa 1790).
Of particular interest to geographers and historians of westward expansion are Washington’s personal, commercial, and political motives for encouraging settlement westward of the Allegheny mountains. A comparison of Washington’s maps documenting his private lands with specific maps and letters illustrating his assiduous desire for increased communication with the west, reveal Washington as practical, shrewd, and visionary entrepreneur.
Defining, marking and mapping the Black-Allan boundary line between New South Wales and Victoria.
This paper traces the defining and marking of the Black-Allan boundary line between the Australian states of New South Wales and Victoria and the subsequent mapping of country and resources along that boundary. Permanent and enduring European colonization of Australia began with the establishment of a British settlement on the east coast at Sydney Cove in January 1788. The boundaries of the Colony of New South Wales were declared in 1787 but were subsequently adjusted to accommodate the new colonies of Van Diemen's Land in 1825, Western Australia in 1829, South Australia in 1836, Victoria in 1851 and Queensland in 1859. Debate about the separation of southern New South Wales began in the late-1830s and was not settled until the creation of the new colony of Victoria in July 1851 when the boundary was defined as '...a straight line drawn from Cape Howe to the nearest source of the River Murray, and thence by the course of that river to the eastern boundary of the Colony of South Australia'. Central to the debate had been control of the rich pastoral country of the Riverina. The defined boundary retained this country within the older colony but ever since large parts of the Riverina have looked to Melbourne the capital of Victoria rather than to Sydney, the New South Wales capital. It was not until the late 1860s, however, that the advance of settlement created a pressing need for the boundary to be marked on the ground. The eastern end of the line was established at Conference Point following a day’s on-site debate by surveyors from Victoria and New South Wales. The western end was established at Forest Hill by Victorian geodetic surveyor Alexander Black. Once the azimuth between the two was calculated, the arduous task of marking the boundary across rugged almost impenetrable country was commenced. Black spent eleven months of 1870 in the field clearing, surveying and marking 61.5 kilometers of the western end. Alexander Allan from New South Wales completed the final 114 kilometers to Conference Point. After eighteen months of work on one of the most difficult and arduous survey tasks undertaken to that time, his survey missed the termination cairn by only 5.5 meters, well within the allowable tolerance. Black and Allan cleared the full length of the boundary and placed over 50 markers. The cost of the project was criticized but Robert Ellery, Supervisor of the Victorian Geodetic Survey, argued that the two surveyors had completed a survey the equal of any in the world. Parts of the boundary were re-surveyed and re-marked in 1897, 1919, 1978 and 1984. Subsequent detailed mapping of the region along the boundary has produced a range of topographic and geological maps. The paper will be read in the context of the innovative multimedia presentation of the exploring and mapping theme in the newly-opened National Museum of Australia. This presentation features the evolution of Australia\'92s colonial and state boundaries. Denis Shephard has worked as a curator in the Society and Nation section of the National Museum of Australia since 1989. Denis developed the Imagining the Country. Exploring and Mapping Australia area within the Nation. Symbols of Australia gallery of the newly-opened National Museum of Australia.
Vanguard of Discovery:
How Roman, English, & Portuguese Explorers Set the Stage for Columbus
Roman maps and travelers’ tales inspired Medieval explorers to dream about far-off lands across the seas - Ophir, Brazil, Ultra-Thule, Hyperborea, and the Antipodes. In modern times, the uncovering of numerous Roman artifacts in the Americas (amphorae, coins, terra cotta sculptures, and Roman arches) suggests that Roman storytellers drew their material from the accounts of actual voyagers. One legacy from this vanguard is a map by Macrobius (c. 440 AD) that portrays a "Gulf of Hurricanes" across the Atlantic in the approximate location of the Gulf of Mexico.
By the middle of the 13th century, the polarization of Science and Religion had begun to take place. A few brilliant monks delved into Nature’s infinite caverns - revealing the secrets of optics, gunpowder, and the magnetic compass. Their motto, "Experience before Dogma," was the key that opened up the Modern Age. Among their ranks was the Franciscan Friar Roger Bacon. At the direction of Pope Clement IV, Friar Bacon prepared a secret document called the Opus Majus. Among his many ideas, Bacon proposed the creation of a scientific map of the world to assist the cause of Christian evangelism and commerce. Deans of Oxford University implemented Bacon’s proposal by sending well-equipped friars on mapping expeditions to the New World from 1330 to 1360. A Dutch journalist, Jacob Cnoyen, wrote about the Franciscan mapping effort in his book Travels in The North. Portions of the Franciscan survey may have survived in the Medici Maps (ca. 1350), DeVirga’s Map (1414), the Clavus Map (1427), and Martin Behaim’s globe of 1490-92.
The patron of Franciscan scientists and wayward Carmelites was John of Gaunt, a powerful English regent. His grandson was Prince Henry The Navigator of Portugal. Prince Henry resumed the effort to map the Atlantic Isles in 1420 by sending numerous explorers west in search of mainland "Antillia or the Isle of Seven Cities." Success of these expeditions was reflected in a series of maps showing mainland west of Europe. A characteristic feature of the western mainland is a macro-peninsula and a huge gulf suggesting an early representation of Florida and the Gulf of Mexico. By the time of the Columbus voyage, maps by Martellus (1489) and Behaim (1490-92) had the macro-peninsula situated about 4,000 miles west of Europe on the Tropic of Cancer, precisely where Florida is located. This was also where Columbus expected to find mainland in the shape of a macro-peninsula. Thus, experience confirmed the validity of his maps.
Comparison of published maps with the pandrao (the secret map of kings) suggests that Columbus actually fell victim to a Portuguese plot to mislead commercial rivals.
The Island of Escudo de Veragua - Haunt of Pirates and Privateers
The island of Escudo de Veragua is one of the most isolated on the Caribbean coast. Some two miles long, it stands 10 miles ENE from Punta Cocopluma, off the NW coast of Panama. Beautiful and peaceful, it is uninhabited and rarely visited today except for those who gather a harvest of coconuts. However, the present air of undisturbed calm belies a colorful past. In the 16th and 17th centuries, the island was often busy as a base for pirates and privateers, there to prey on Spanish shipping, the treasure route, and the gold mines of Veragua. They also gathered at the nearby islands and lagoon of Breas del Toro. The English fleet anchored off the island in January 1596, the sailors suffering much sickness. Reflecting on this, William Dampier commented in 1681: “We past by Scuda, a small island, where tis said Sir Francis Drake’s bowels were buried.”
Early maps and documents are reviewed so as to show some of the uses made of the island. The results are compared with modern maps, helping to plot changes that have occurred. Recent fieldwork, which has pointed up the advantages of the island as a base, will be described.
Samuel Pepys (1633-1703): Travels, Navigation and Charts
The name Pepys is now popularly associated only with his secret Diary which was first published over one hundred years after his death. But to his contemporaries Pepys was known as a very efficient civil servant, first as Clerk to the Commissioners of the Royal Navy and later as Secretary of the Admiralty. In these capacities he undertook some official voyages, learned and practiced navigation, and instituted reforms of enduring significance. He also assembled an important collection of books, charts and maps now in Pepys Library, Magdalene College, Cambridge. This paper examines these professional interests of Secretary Pepys as they influenced the development of Britain’s overseas empire from the second half of the seventeenth century.
Making a Mappamundi
Scott D. Westrem
One surmise and one assumption have informed most discussions of medieval mappaemundi since C. Raymond Beazley called the two great examples of the genre -- those associated with Hereford Cathedral and a Benedictine nunnery in Ebstorf (destroyed in 1943) -- “monstrosities” in 1906. Historians of cartography have believed that surviving and lost maps of this kind must have been copied from each other or some, probably French, prototype, although how or in what format this prototype circulated has been uncertain since no one has located a “smoking gun.” Aware that navigational charts with extremely “accurate” representations of the east Atlantic, Mediterranean, and Euxine coastlines were being drawn simultaneously with the production of mappaemundi, they have maintained that the two representations of geographical reality came from different -- indeed, in the estimation of some, intellectually opposed -- circles.
The surmise may be edged toward knowledge and the assumption challenged by the discovery in the year 2000, by Patrick Gautier Dalché of the École Pratique des Hautes Études (Paris), of two manuscript copies of a text entitled Expositio mappe mundi (hereafter EMM [the discovery has not yet been announced]). If it is not the recipe for making a mappamundi (as I shall argue it is), EMM is certainly the extremely careful description of one (so careful, in fact, that even if prepared as a description of one, it could be used to make another). That it preserves information of practical cartographical value during the Middle Ages may be demonstrated by the fact that over 400 of its 484 data items -- which range from long sentences with descriptions of adjacent illustrations to lists of toponyms that are to be arranged in a specific order on coastlines or along rivers -- appear verbatim, or with only the most minor lexical or organizational variation, in The Hereford Map published by Brepols Publishing. Gautier Dalché’s scrupulous edition and lengthy, learned introduction will not appear until at least 2002 -- in French, published in a Festschrift in Italy -- but he has given me permission to quote carte blanche from his work in my book.
We may learn many lessons from Gautier Dalché’s discovery and a rigorous comparison of EMM to the combined word-picture of the Hereford Map. The text in EMM proves that a spatially specific manual about how a map was arranged and drawn was available to medieval cartographers. In this particular case, the description, not at the top, as one might think, but at the far left (north) edge (between “the winds Septentrio and Boreas” [which are named and described in a ring at this exact place on the map]) and working clockwise. The process included drawing a set number of islands, each with a prescribed legend (called a “titulus” [for some, content is noted as something “scribitur” or “intitulatur”]). These islands had specified shapes; for some an attendant design was detailed; all depictions recorded in EMM appear on the map. Many toponyms are sited “opposite” (“contra”) others; some are specifically said to “span” rivers, appear “to the south of” something else, or be “above,” “after,” or “below” a different city, mountain, or island. The Danube, EMM records, has sixty tributaries, “of which I shall place twelve on the map,” and each of the dozen confluences is described carefully, working from west to east, with important cities identified. Although both surviving manuscripts date from the 14th century and were copied in Germany, convincing supporting evidence makes it possible to assert that EMM was originally composed in England, probably Yorkshire, around 1190, very likely based on an earlier prototype but much improved by the author’s personal experience and knowledge. He probably was in the entourage of Richard I (Lionheart) on the Third Crusade (1188-1192), and almost certainly prepared similar material to aid in the preparation of sea charts (both manuscript copies are in codices bound [alone] with two late twelfth-century works of practical navigation known as De viis maris and Liber nautarum).
My focus in this 20-minute talk will be on the relationship between EMM and the Hereford Map, demonstrating how closely the two correspond in word and image (described or realized) and how fully and reliably we may now understand the process of making a mappamundi. I will note that while the Hereford Map (like other mappamundi) may be the product of medieval Christian faith and understanding, it is not the not the delusional fantasy of naive monks, as we “visionary” moderns may like to enhance ourselves by thinking. Instead, it is the highly organized, and highly formalized, record of serious geographers who knew that seacoasts were not linear but chose on occasion to show them as such -- and to leave records so that others might do so. The only thing monstrous about the Hereford Map is the way it has been misunderstood and expected to conform to modern taste. A new century may take us in an entirely new, unexpected direction in our understanding of medieval mapmaking.
History and Discovery on the Web
The author's research on the human and cartographic history of the Galapagos Islands began in the traditional manner: on paper. But given the inevitable cross-referencing between maps and manuscripts, books and other sources, the HTML document format lent itself nicely to bringing some order to the resulting bibliography. In no time at all, the bibliography became the focus of the project, and a move to the web was the next logical step.
This paper reviews the rather short history of the author's discovery of the internet as an ideal medium for the presentation of his topic at several levels, from a simple bibliographic reference work to an in-depth hyper-linked resource of all those maps and manuscripts. The same techniques can of course be applied to the production of a CD-ROM disc, and may be of interest to others doing research in the history of discoveries.