This beautiful Saint Augustine map was produced by Baptista Boazio, who was a famous Italian cartographer. The map is unique for a couple of reasons. To begin with, it holds the distinction of being the oldest item housed in the state archives of Florida. That is pretty impressive in and of itself. What's even more impressive lies in what you see on the map. It was meant to be so much more than juts a visual guide to the region.
Boazio, though Italian, lived and worked in London for the better part of 30 years (1583-1603). During that time, he produced many maps for several different people who produced single and aggregate works. One of his jobs involved producing maps that marked Sir Francis Drake's naval routes. Drake was an explorer, sea captain, slave trader, and privateer. If profit, adventure, and the sea were involved,
he would be as well. He was commissioned by Great Britain to explore and establish trade in the Caribbean. Boaziowas to produce maps of Drake's travels as part of a larger Walter Bigges work titled “Drakes Expedition to the West Indies”. Its first publication date was 1588; later editions would follow thereafter.
What makes this map so unique is the style in which it was rendered. It is more than just a mere map. He tells a story if you know where to look. For instance, at the bottom of the map you see several ships (obviously English) sailing in the Caribbean. This represented Drake's expedition to Saint Augustine, where he captured and burned the city. Anyone who saw that map would be reminded of the might and power of the British navy. Even more interesting, the drawing of the dolphin that you see in the bottom left-hand corner was likely copied by earlier drawings from an English American settler named John White. He just happened to be one of the settler's of Virginia colony known as “Raleigh”. This map is
renown for its detail, and storybook appeal.