Charting New Netherland, 1597-1682

6)  Novae Belgiae Angliae nec non parties Virginiae multis locis emendata, 1655, Amsterdam.

Mapmaker: Nicolaes Visscher

The Jansson-Visscher series of maps of New Netherland and New England is an example of the practice of the replication, correction and addition of information on successive maps. (See the Blaeu #4 map for the introduction of animals and native dwellings.) The process with this map continued for almost 150 years. Nicolaes Visscher’s map is the second phase of this history. 

Johannes Janssonius (1506-1664) created the foundation in 1651 with a full-sized map which gives primary, detailed attention to the land mass of the two provinces. The map was partially drawn from his own 1636 copy of the De Laet (#3), which included Ft. Orange on the east side of the North River. Janssonius corrected this mistake, but introduced another persistently repeated one: making New Jersey an island, with the Schuykill River joining the North River.

Visscher’s landmark contribution in the 1652, second state of his map was the addition of the insert view of Nieuw Amsterdam. We have landed!

The exceptional beauty of this map strikes the viewer immediately. Then the decorative, concrete detail absorbs one’s attention: life on the land with its rivers and streams, forests and mountains, the names of every native tribe  known by the colonists. A tone of harmony emanates from the European standing at the left side of the view and the Native American on the right. Natives in their hand-hewn bateaux are prominent in an unlikely spot mid-ocean. (Visscher has simply reversed the images in Janssonius's map.)

About the New Netherland Institute

For over three decades, NNI has helped cast light on America's Dutch roots. In 2010, it partnered with the New York State Office of Cultural Education to establish the New Netherland Research Center, with matching funds from the State of the Netherlands. NNI is registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. More

The New Netherland Research Center

Housed in the New York State Library, the NNRC offers students, educators, scholars and researchers a vast collection of early documents and reference works on America's Dutch era. More


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