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Description

Forlani's map of North America was the first separately issued map of North America and among the most important maps of the 16th Century. Forlani's map is essentially an illustration of his understanding of Cartier's description of New France. Geographical ideas took precedence over actual geographical features.

Forlani split Terra de Norumbega and Terra de Baccalos, both regions supposed to have been defined by the Natives. Between them he inserted La Nova Franza/New France, comprising Canada, and Larcadia/Acadia. From Cartier's writings, Forlani knew that the core of New France was the St. Lawrence River. Rather than shift the region to encompass the actual river--whose actual geographical features were properly shown, but unnamed, to the north--he therefore invented a new river, which he labeled the river S. Lorêzo/St. Lawrence, within his idea of a region of New France.

The map is also the first map to show the Straits of Anian, which would dominate the cartography of the NW Coast of America for over 200 years. The large lake in the northeast is likely representative of early contact with the Great Lakes.

One of the most important 16th Century maps of America.

Reference
Burden 33