Novissima et accuratissima totius Americae descriptio

Author: Wit, Frederik de
Date: 1670
Location: America, North America, South America

Dimensions: 54.0 x 63.0 cm.
Scale: 1:35,000,000
Call Number: G3290 1670 .W5


In comparison with DeWit's large wall map, this map purports to show the newest and most accurate information about the Americas. However, the geographic information presented here is not much different from the earlier map, especially in its perpetuation of the "California as an island" myth. All the source regions for Florida's recent immigration--Canada, Mexico, the West Indies, and northern South America--are included on both maps. While these regions have been depicted as separate geographic entities, there is an underlying reminder that they are extensions of European colonial powers: the southwestern tip of Europe (the Iberian peninsula) appears on the right edge of the map, not quite out of sight, while the use of certain place names reflects European relocation--Hispania Nova (Mexico and Central America), Nova Francia (Canada's St. Lawrence region), or Nova Britagna (Canada's Hudson Bay region). In addition, the map's iconography reinforces this interpretation, especially the upper left plaque, where an angel and a female figure bearing a cross symbolize the Christianizing of the native peoples, and in the lower left cartouche which shows natives bringing the wealth of the land (gold bars and baskets of grain) to an Indian chieftain, representing the European economic exploitation of the continent's mineral and agricultural wealth. Does not include the additional islands on lower left of map that were added in later editions. Circa 1670.

In order to view this page you need Flash Player 9+ support!

Get Adobe Flash player

Map Viewer: Modern - [change] | [FULLSCREEN]
Norman B. Leventhal Map Center (