Floridae Americae Provinciae Recens & exactissima descriptio Auctore Iacobo le Moyne cui cognomen de Morgues, Qui Laudonnierum
By: Jacques le Moyne
Date: 1591 (Published) Frankfurt
Dimensions: 14.4 x 17.8 inches (36.6 x 45.2 cm)
This map of Florida and the southeastern portion of what would become the United States is one of the most important 16th century maps of the region.
Le Moyne's map includes the peninsula of Florida and the surrounding regions from the northern part of Cuba to "Prom Terra falg" or Cape Lookout. The map was a landmark for the region, containing significant new information (often inaccurate) which became a primary source for other maps for the next 150 years. Le Moyne's coastline is usually correct for latitude, but the shore extends too far east rather than northeast in direction. Since this map was used as a source by Mercator in his world map of 1569, the error resulted in an enlargement of the Virginia region. It would not be for over 70 years until the mistake was corrected somewhat by Jansson in 1641 and those who followed him.
Le Moyne also added several lakes which endured in mythological proportions in the later cartography of the Southeast. One such lake found withing the "montes Apalatci" (Appalachan Mountains) is fed by a large waterfall. Some have suggested that this waterfall represents some of the falls found in present-day North Caroline, while others believe it is a severely misplaced depiction of Niagara Falls of which native tribes in the south were believed to have knowledge of its existence. Below this lake an important annotation reads "In hoc lacu Indigenae argenti grana inveniunt," which translates to "In this lake the natives find grains of silver." Such a statement only lends itself to the continued search of precious metals that were believed to exist throughout the new world and were the impetus for funding continued expeditions throughout the Americas.
Jacques le Moyne was a member of Jean Ribault’s expedition to North America in 1564 in what was an ill-fated attempt to found a Huguenot settlement in northern Florida. Historical evidence strongly suggests that le Moyne was chosen by the French monarchy to serve as official artist and cartographer to the expedition. In later life, having fled France at the time of the St Valentine’s Day Massacre in Paris in 1572, le Moyne settled in England where he became a highly regarded Elizabethan artist and botanist in London, with patrons such as Sir Walter Raleigh and Lady Mary Sidney.
Condition: This exquisite map is in A condition with exceptional hand coloring and ample margins on all sides.
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