Map of the Island of Cuba and Surrounding Territories


José María de la Torre y de la Torre (1815−73) was an illustrious Cuban geographer, archaeologist, historian, and educator who devoted a great part of his intellectual life to the study of local Cuban history. This cartographic work of 1841 by José María de la Torre is important from a historical as well as a geographical point of view. It describes in detail the itineraries of the voyages of Christopher Columbus to the Americas. The map shows the routes of each of Columbus’s three voyages, giving the dates on which he reached various places. It provides original place-names as well as the names that Columbus gave to the different islands. Also shown is the distribution of the pre-Columbian cultures at the time of Columbus’s first voyage, as understood by José María de la Torre. The originality of this map lies in its evocation of the aboriginal past, which, at the time it was made, helped to reaffirm the culture of the native peoples of the Americas. The island of Jamaica and the western part of Hispaniola (Haiti) also are shown. The illustration in the upper-left hand corner features the shield of Cuba, granted to the island by the king of Spain in 1516.

Date Created

Subject Date


Title in Original Language

Mapa de la Isla de Cuba y tierras circunvecinas según la división de los naturales con las derrotas que siguió el Almirante Cristóbal Colón para servir de ilustración a su historia

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 map : color on paper ; 32 x 64 centimeters


  • Scale 1:3,000,000

Last updated: August 8, 2014