Manhattan Lying on the North River


Joan Vinckeboons (1617–70) was a Dutch cartographer and engraver born into a family of artists of Flemish origin. He was employed by the Dutch West India Company and for more than 30 years produced maps for use by Dutch mercantile and military shipping. He was a business partner of Joan Blaeu, one of the most important map and atlas publishers of the day. Vinckeboons drew a series of 200 manuscript maps that were used in the production of atlases, including Blaeu’s Atlas Maior. This 1639 pen-and-ink and watercolor map shows Manhattan Island as it appeared some 25 years after the establishment of the Dutch fur trading settlement known as New Amsterdam (present-day New York City). Also shown are Staten Island, Coney Island, and the North (Hudson) River. The numbered index at the lower right indicates the names of farms and buildings and their owners. The letters in the index indicate the locations of Fort Amsterdam, three mills, and the slave quarter of the settlement. The map was once part of a manuscript atlas belonging to the Dutch firm of Gerard Hulst van Keulen, which published sea atlases and navigational handbooks for over two centuries. With the demise of the firm, the atlas was acquired and broken up by the Amsterdam book dealer Frederik Muller, who in 1887 sold 13 maps from the atlas attributed to Vinckeboons to the collector and bibliographer Henry Harrisse. This map is part of the Henry Harrisse Collection in the Library of Congress.

Last updated: May 24, 2017