M-11923: (Image: 11 x 14 1/8’) “AMERICA noviter delineata” Frankfurt: Matthaus Merian, c. 1638. Engraved map with later hand-coloring. (Wheat, Mapping the Trans-Mississippi West, I,43; Tooley, The Mapping of America, p. 299; PB #251). Some staining in the lower margin and lower right corner.
This very handsome and extremely detailed map depicts the Americas based on the Mercator-Hondius delineation of the Western Hemisphere. Topographical features are shown (many purely speculative, or mythical), and most known towns, cities, missions, and Indian villages are located. The Great Lakes are shown as one Great Lake, and contrary to an emerging popular theory of the time, California is shown as a peninsula. The northwest coast is shown oriented westward to Cape Mendocino, and then veering northeast - suggesting a Northwest Passage. Sea monsters decorate the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.