Inside the Vault: Maps of Colonial America
by Gilder Lehrman Institute Staff
While colonial era maps of North America are often inaccurate representations of the geography, they do give us insight into how Europeans viewed the Western Hemisphere. Early Dutch, French, and Spanish maps record waterways, land features, trading routes, and names of Indigenous communities and often feature interesting graphics. In the August 26, 2021 session of Inside the Vault, Dr. Andrew Robertson, Associate Professor of History at City University New York; Daniel Jocz, 2018 California History Teacher of the Year; and Hannah Ryan, Resident Broadway Director of Hamilton, join us as we answer the question: What can we learn from these resources?
Click here to download the slides from the presentation.
Classroom-ready resources for the documents presented
- L’amerique septentrionale, John Baptiste Nolin, 1700s ca.
- Carte de la Louisiane, Guillaume de L'isle, 1712
- Partie meridionale de la Riviere de Mississippi, Nicolas de Fer, 1718
- Novi Belgii Novaeque Angliae, Nicholas Visscher, 1682
- Recens Edita totius Novi Belgii, Matthaeus Seutter, 1730
- Spotlight on Primary Source: Late seventeenth-century map of the Northeast, 1682
- Spotlight on Primary Source: Map of the New World, with European settlements and American Indian tribes, 1730
- Essay: “Navigating the Age of Exploration” by Ted Widmer, History Now 12 (Summer 2007)
- Essay: Perils of the Ocean in the Early Modern Era” by Robert C. Ritchie, History Now 25 (Fall 2010)
- Essay: “The Archaeological Excavation of the Stadt Huys Block in Lower Manhattan” by Nan A. Rothschild and Diana diZerega Wall, History Now 49 (Fall 2017)
Use the timestamps below to jump to the topics you want to view
- L’amerique septentrionale, Johann Baptiste Nolin, 1700s ca.: 3:06–10:32
- Carte de la Louisiane, Guillaume de L’isle, 1712: 24:28–37:15
- Partie meridionale de la Riviere de Mississippi, Nicolas de Fer, 1718: 37:16–43:08
- Novi Belgii Novaeque Angliae, Nicholas Visscher, 1682: 46:22–57:31
- Recens Edita totius Novi Belgii, Matthaeus Seutter, 1730: 57:32–1:16:37