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Early Appearances of Manhattan Island, Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard, Block Island.

Important early Sea Chart of the region around New York City, Long Island and the Connecticut and southern Massachusetts coastlines, first published by Johannes Van Keulen in 1684 and drawn by Claes Janz Vooght for Van Keulen's Zee-Fakkel.

The lower map provides fine coastal details from New York Harbor, Manhattan Island and the curiously short thick rendition of Long Island in the west to Nantucket (Natoket), Martha's Vineyard (Marten Wynard's Island, Block Island (called Adrian Bloks Eyl) and a very strange depiction of the southern part of Cape Cod and Buzzard's Bay.

Van Keulen's map is of great note for several reasons. It is the second earliest map of the region, after the extremely rare chart of the same region published by Arent Rogeveen in 1675. Perhaps most notably, the maps of the "Noord" River (Hudson River) and Versche River (Connecticut River) make this the earliest printed map of a North American River.

The map is based on unknown original Dutch surveys made just before they surrendered New Netherlands to the English in 1664. As such, it preserves many of the Dutch names then in use. As noted by Stokes,

The map is important because of the inclusion of many names not occurring on other maps, as well as for its large scale inset map of the Hudson River, which is believed to be the first detailed engraved map of that river.

Burden states:

[This map] arguably represents the apogee of Dutch knowledge of the region, many toponyms appearing for the first time. . . . The sources of the map are unknown. Although the region is named both New Netherlands and New York the city itself is unnamed. Nearby are a great number of placenames including some recognizable ones such as Konynen Eyl., Breukelen and further east on Long Island Heemstede, Ooster Bay and Oost Hampton . . .
The inset in the top third is the map's main claim to fame. It is the first engraved map devoted to the Hudson River and it, too, introduces many new placenames. On the west side above Manhattan is Taphaan and further upriver is Kats Kil, Middelburgh now Hudson, and 't Greyn Bosch near Albany. Tucked in with it is a smaller inset map of the lower reaches of the Connecticut River called the Versche , or fresh, River.

Burden lists four states:

  • State 1. 1684. Without page numbers and a simple boxed title cartouche.
  • State 2. 1687. With page number "20"engraved lower left corner.
  • State 3. c.1692? The map number now appears in the lower right corner also, above the scale.
  • State 4. 1702? The title is now bordered by drapes, a ship is added south of Long Island and the scale of miles is now within a ruled border.

It is known that editions of the Zee-Fakkel were issued until very late in the 18th Century, with editions issued as late as the Revolutionary War period.

Condition Description
Lower left corner restored. Minor restoration at centerfold.
Burden II, #587; Stokes, I.N.P. Iconography of Manhattan, Vol. II, pp. 158-9; Deak, G.G. Picturing America, #68.