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Description

The First Map To Name Canada and First Map of The St. Lawrence River Region

Fine dark impression of Cornelis van Wytfliet's Nova Francia et Canada, the first appearance of the name "Canada" on a printed map and the first map to focus on the St. Lawrence River and Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Wytfliet's map is a highly important early map of Canada from Wytfliet's Descriptionis Ptolemaicae Augmentum, a pioneering work that set a precedent for the geographic descriptions and atlases of the Americas that followed.

The map depicts Canada from just below Montreal (Hochelaga) on the St. Lawrence, depicting the "known" regions of Canada at the end of the 16th Century. As noted by Burden, the map summarizes the sixteenth century knowledge and explorations in the region on the eve of the first of Samuel de Champlain's voyages into the region. The map is largely derived from the work of Gerard Mercator, although Newfoundland is based upon Cornelis Claesz's map of 1594.

The map provides fine detail on the St. Lawrence River (Hochelaga flu) and Gulf (Sinus S. Laurenty) and on the region surrounding the Iroquois settlement of Hochelaga, site of present-day Montreal. Prince Edward Island appears as the "Y. de S. Johan" and Newfoundland is shown as an archipelago with its Portuguese appellation, "Terra de Bacallaos" or "Land of Cod."

In 1597 Cornelis van Wytfliet (1555-1597) was the Secretary of the General Council of the Province of Brabant, in the Spanish Netherlands. He published his Augmentum to Ptolemy's Geography in the great university town of Louvain. The purpose was to provide a systematic description of the Americas, the 'fourth part of the world' unknown to Ptolemy. Wytfliet dedicated his work to Philip III of Spain. The book is a history of the New World to date, recording its discovery and natural history. Wytfliet includes nineteen maps, one of the world and eighteen regional maps of the Americas. Wytfliet's Norumbega et Virginia, especially in the present first state, is a fundamental map for any collector of the cartography of eastern North America.

Reference
Burden 102
Cornelis van Wytfliet Biography

Cornelius de Wytfliet (ca.1550-ca. 1597) was a Flemish cartographer most famous for his Descriptionis Ptolemaicae Augmentum. The work was published in Louvain, Belgium, and had nineteen maps of the Americas.