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Stock# 51149

First State!

Rare firststate of Frederick De Wit's fine early map of the Americas and Pacific.

Includes California as an Island, an early depiction of the Great Lakes (not present in Visscher's edition of the map), non-existent coastline north of the Island of California and misprojected South America.

This early state of the map predates the information in the Northwest of America and Oceana. The map predates La Salle's information on the interior of North America, but includes excellent detail in Canada and the East Coast of North America, noting the Dutch possessions, the Iroquois regions, N. Anglia, New Amsterdam, the Chesapeake, Plymouth, and many Indian place names.

Burden identifies 9 states of the map:

  • State 1: 1675 ca: Longitudinal numbers given in 10s. "Madera" named. Includes sailing ship.
  • State 2: 1678 ca: Canaries re-engraved, with "Madera Ins" named.
  • State 3: 1678 ca: Longitudinal lines are now shown by 8s.
  • State 4: 1680 ca: 3 ships in Pacific and 8 ships in Atlantic are removed
  • State 5: 1680 ca: Nova Guinea and Quiri Regio appear in South Pacific and Terrea Esonis to the west of California
  • State 6: 1688 ca: Aovenliouach ronons appears between Lac Superior and Lac des Puans
  • State 7: 1690 ca: New title: " Novissima et Accuratissima Septentrionalis ac Meridionalis Americae Descriptio .... " At 338° longitude at the bottom of map the plate now includes a significant plate crack and an erased compass rose, with 4 sections missing
  • State 8: 1695 ca: Plate crack repaired and four missing sections noted above repaired area
  • State 9: 1710 ca: Includes the Mortier imprint


Condition Description
Old Color.
McLaughlin 49; Burden 465,
Frederick De Wit Biography

De Wit (1629 ca.-1706) was a mapmaker and mapseller who was born in Gouda but who worked and died in Amsterdam. He moved to the city in 1648, where he opened a printing operation under the name of The Three Crabs; later, he changed the name of his shop to The White Chart. From the 1660s onward, he published atlases with a variety of maps; he is best known for these atlases and his Dutch town maps. After Frederik’s death in 1706, his wife Maria ran the shop for four years before selling it. Their son, Franciscus, was a stockfish merchant and had no interest in the map shop. At the auction to liquidate the de Wit stock, most of the plates went to Pieter Mortier, whose firm eventually became Covens & Mortier, one of the biggest cartography houses of the eighteenth century.