Source: Virginiae partis australis, et Floridae partis orientalis, interjacentiumq[ue] regionum nova description, by Willem Janszoon Blaeu, Amsterdam, J. and C. Blaeu, 1640; Special Collections Map Collection #2.3
Staff Person: Ralph Scott
This map, part of Blaeu’s Le Théâtre dv Monde, ou Novvel Atlas (Amsterdami, 1638, II 1640) plate 28-29, is based on the 1606 Hondius map, but according to William E. Cumming, “incorporates new geographical knowledge.” Specifically the 1640 map shows South Carolina more accurately and changes the shape of the Chesapeake Bay “from a small bay to its proper shape.” This is the first time Jamestown and many local Virginia Indian villages are shown on European maps. The more correct latitude of “Coft Feare” [Cape Fear] at 34° North replaces the incorrect 32° North shown by Hondius on his earlier map. The North Carolina sounds, especially Pamlico, have additional information collected by English explorers. Some of these new names were not retained in later usage, but the map demonstrates that European readers were interested in the latest information from the new world. A “P. Grinfeld” [Port Grenville] is noted as being perhaps near the current location of New Bern in Pamlico Sound. Cummingts further notes that “this [map] is the most correct map of this area yet to appear,” and was a key representation of the Carolinas through the end of the 17th century. Students of cartography often compare this map with the depiction of the North Carolina coast shown on the 1733 Moseley Map.
Special Collections Map Collection #MC0002.003 [Currently framed and on display in the Rare Book Room]