BLAEU, J. Title: Nova Belgica et Anglia Nova Published: Amsterdam 1661
Size 15.3 x 19.9 inches
This important map, first issued in 1635, is one of the first to focus on the Dutch colony in North America and to name Nieu Amsterdam (New York). It is based on the manuscript of Andriaen Block (1614), a Dutch fur trader, who explored the area between Cape Cod and Manhattan and was the first to correctly delineate the longitudinal scale of the coastline and establish Manhattan as an island.
The 1635 Blaeu map of New Netherland and New England reflects these early Dutch explorations.
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 Lake Champlain is still displaced far to the east--a feature which Block copied from an unpublished map by Champlain.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.
The coastal strip is well detailed with settlement names, testifying to the Dutch and English interest in the area, but the map is, above all, a fine example of the superb design and craftsmanship employed by the Blaeu's in their work
Burden, Mapping of North America , no. 241
Joan Blaeu (c. 1599-1673) He was the son of cartographer Willem Blaeu.
In 1620 he became a doctor of law but he joined the work of his father. In 1635 they published the Atlas Novus (full title: Theatrum orbis terrarum, sive, Atlas novus) in two volumes. Joan and his brother Cornelius took over the studio after their father had died in 1638. Joan became the official cartographer of the Dutch East India Company.
Joan Blaeu main work was Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (or Atlas Maior as it had became known.) Atlas had expanded to between 9 and 12 volumes, depending on the language. With over 3,000 text pages and approximately 600 maps, it was the most expensive book money could buy in the later 17th century.