Important chart of the region extending from Cuba and the Bahamas to Guadaloupe and centered on Puerto Rico and Santo Domingo, with several excellent profile viewsat the top.
The chart provides in fine detail the Antilles, as surveyed by the Spanish to the year 1799. The views of Puerto Rico and St. Barts at the top of the chart are of particular note.
The Dirección de Hidrografía, or the Directorate of Hydrographic Works, was established in 1797. Its roots were in the Casa de Contratación, founded in 1503 in Sevilla, which housed all the charts of the Spanish Empire and oversaw the creation and maintenance of the padrón real, the official master chart. The Casa, now in Cadiz, was shuttered in 1790, but Spain still needed a hydrographic body. In response, the Dirección was created in 1797. One of its first projects was the publication of charts from the Malaspina Expedition (1789-1794). The Dirección oversaw not only publication, but also surveying. The Dirección was abolished in the early twentieth century, when their work was distributed to other organizations.