HONDIUS, Henricus (1597-1651)
Nova Virginiae Tabula
Amsterdam: Henricus Hondius, [No date but 1633]. Copper engraving, French text on verso. Good condition, with small expert marginal repairs, thinning of paper to small areas at the upper left and right of the verso. Sheet size: 14 5/8 x 22 inches.
A classic, early cartographic representation of Virginia: Hondius's version of John Smith's important map.
This is the fifth of the many derivatives of Captain John Smith's map of Virginia, the earliest true map of the first permanent English colony in America. This map stays close in content to the Hondius-Blaeu map of 1629, which was in turn based on the first state of the Smith map. The early Dutch versions of the map were the primary disseminators of information on Virginia throughout the European continent until the closing decades of the seventeenth century.
The map is beautifully ornamented with the Royal Arms of Britain (colonial rulers of Virginia) , a standing figure of an Indian, and an inset vignette of "King Powhatan," the father of Pocahantas, sitting in state in his lodge. Powhatan was the powerful ruler of about thirty Algonquian tribes in the region, the strongest single group of Indians on the Atlantic coast. He is said to have had forty bodyguards and 100 wives. His rulership consisted of his providing military leadership and protection in exchange for tribute from the individual tribes. The ceremony at which Captain John Smith thought he was saved by Powhatan's daughter Pocahontas was apparently a ritual in which Smith agreed on behalf of his tribe, the whites, to submit to Powhatan's leadership. Smith, of course, completely misunderstood the event.
This copy of the map, with French text on verso, is an early issue of Burden's first state. Verner notes: "This is a beautifully engraved and decorative map."
Burden, The Mapping of North America 228, state 1; Koeman, Atlantes Neelandici Me 31 A #72; Taylor, American Colonies, p. 125-132; Verner, 165-166.