Map of Maranhão, City of São Luis do Maranhão


This manuscript map shows the city of São Luís do Maranhão as it appeared around 1800. Located on Brazil’s northeastern coast, the city predates Brazil’s European colonization. It was a large village of the local Tupinambá people before being taken over by the French in 1612, who renamed it after Saint Louis and in honor of King Louis XIII. Less than three years later, the Portuguese captured the city from the French. Under Portuguese rule, São Luís do Maranhão became the seat of the Diocese of São Luís do Maranhão and the capital of Maranhão state. The city was also an important export center for northern Brazilian agricultural products, such as sugar, tobacco, and cacao. Markings on the map indicate water channels and depths necessary for navigation.

Date Created

Subject Date


Title in Original Language

Carta geométrica da barra do Maranhão, cidade de São Luiz do Maranhão

Additional Subjects

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 manuscript map ; 51 x 71.5 centimeters

Last updated: January 8, 2018