Early European Cartography of the Gulf, 18th century

Charting the Gulf: Tri-Centennial Connection at the Latin American Library

Carte du Golphe du Méxique et des Isles de l’Amérique (1754), Jacques Nicolas Bellin. Map Collection, The Latin American Library


The map above is by Jacques-Nicolas Bellin (1703-1772), a leading French cartographer of the early 18th century.   Bellin synthesized the latest reports from French explorers in the Americas to produce high quality maps for the French court.  New Orleans appears prominently in this 1754 map, Carte du Golphe du Méxique et des Isles de l’Amérique, which includes the routes of early Spanish explorers in the Gulf.


Pas-kaart Van de Zee Kusten van Carthagene (1765), Johannes van Keulen. Rubini Family Map Collection, The Latin American Library

Above, is a 1765 sea chart by Johannes Van Keulen, with a detailed view of the coastline of Cartagena de Indias in present-day Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, and Honduras from the perspective of mariners approaching from the north.  The Van Keulen family dominated Dutch mapmaking for nearly two centuries, beginning in 1681, when Johannes obtained permission to print pilot guides and sea atlases.  His son and grandson would be appointed official chart makers for the Dutch East India Company.