A Map of Virginia

The first accurate map of Chesapeake Bay in North America was made by an English soldier, Captain John Smith, who in 1608–9 served as president of the governing council of the English settlement in Virginia. Published in 1612, it served as the prototype for subsequent maps of the area more than fifty years. Today it is particularly valued for the unique information it provides about the locations of Native American tribes (it identifies ten tribes and some 166 native villages), but it is also an expression of the colonial instincts of seventeenth-century England. ‘The gaining Provinces addeth to the King’s Crown’, Smith later wrote, ‘but the reducing Heathen people to civilitie and true Religion, bringeth honour to the King of Heaven.’


104 leaves, including pages from Theodore De Bry’s 1590 edition  of Thomas Hariot’s A briefe and true report of the new found land of Virginia and John Smith’s 1612 Map of Virginia; 340 x 220 mm

Contemporary English centrepiece binding: brown calfskin with blind and gold tooling