The North River in New Netherland


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 pen-and-ink and watercolor map from around 1639 shows the Hudson, or North River, as it was called by the Dutch, from Manhattan Island to present-day Albany, New York. The region was part of the colony of New Netherland, which was established by the Dutch in 1621 and ruled by them until it was seized by the British in 1664. Place-names, and the names of Native American tribes, such as the Mohicans, are given. Relief is shown pictorially, and depths shown by soundings. 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. The map is part of the Henry Harrisse Collection in the Library of Congress.

Last updated: October 2, 2012