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Description

The Earliest Obtainable Map of the Southeastern United States.

Finely executed map of the southeastern part of North America published by Joannes De Laet in Amsterdam.

The map was almost certainly engraved by Hessel Gerritsz, based upon the work of Cornelis Claesz in 1602, and Jacques Le Moyne's map of Florida, with nomenclature drawn from the Chaves manuscript map of 1584.

The map covers the Atlantic Coast and interior of North America from South Carolina to roughly Galveston Bay in Texas.  De Laet and Gerritsz drew on a number of sources the contents of the map, including the work of Cornelis Claesz (circa 1602) and the work of Jacques le Moyne for Florida.  One noteworthy improvement is the placing of C. Francois further east into the Atlantic Ocean. Florida is referred to as "Tegesta provinc," the first appearance of the name Tegesta, which is taken from the names of Native Americans living on the south-west coast.

The map is also noteworthy as possibly the earliest printed map to show Hernando de Soto's supposed route through the region et with by De Soto. Jackson wrote that De Laet's treatment of the Gulf Coast was

a distillation of portolano-type charts produced by the cartographers of many nations (especially Portugal).... Gerritsz, by adopting this coast model, did much to perpetuate it.... Blaeu was not the author of the most influential Gulf map of the seventeen century—Hessel Gerritsz was, a fact that most cartographic historians have overlooked.”

De Laet's map became the standard for the region, which was subsequently copied by Blaeu, Janssonius, Sanson and most other commercial map publishers in the decades following its publication.  

An essential map for regional collectors.

Reference
Cumming, The Southeast in Early Maps 34n.
Jackson, Flags Along the Coast.