#302 La Espanola

TITLE: La Espanola

DATE: 1492-93

AUTHOR: Christopher Columbus

DESCRIPTION: Of the many maps that Columbus doubtless drew on his four voyages to America, only two small cartographic pieces have survived which can with any certainty be ascribed either to Christopher Columbus or to his brother Bartholomew, a chart maker by profession. In the archives of the Duke of Alba in Madrid there is a hasty outline sketch of the north and northwestern coastline of La Espanola [Hispaniola - Haiti + Dominican Republic] which Columbus drew as he coasted east in December 1492 - January 1493. The features named are Cape S. Nicolas, the island of Tortuga, the point of Monte Christi and Natividad, for La Natividad, the first recorded European settlement in this part of the New World. In Caracol Bay (just above the “s” of Espanola), on Christmas Day, the Santa Maria struck a coral reef and could not be freed - from her timbers Columbus built La Nativiad. The other maps ascribed to Columbus’ brother Bartholomew, consist of three marginal sketches in a copy of Christopher’s letter of July 1503 describing his fourth voyage (see #304).



*Bagrow, Leo, The History of Cartography, p.107.

Crone, G.R., Maps and their Makers, p.78.


Last Updated: 22 September 2016

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