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John Farrer's 1577 Map of the Virginia Territory

John Farrer's 1577 Map of the Virginia Territory

  • 5699

This early map of the Virginia Territory is significant due to its depiction of North America. If you notice, our continent looks rather narrow. Furthermore, there is a strange Northwest passage in the form of a river that connects the Hudson to the “sea of China and the Indies”. Of course, further cartographic efforts, coupled with years of exploration, would render a true and more accurate shape. Yet, this John Farrer original is widely regarded as an important piece of history more than anything else. He was an ardent promoter of the Virginia colony. He was such a fan that he named his daughter after it. This map was originally hand drawn, and included in his personal copy of Virgo Triumphans, known in English as Virginia Richly and Truly Valued, by Edward Williams. Yet neither he or Farrer is featured in the cameo at the top. That is Sir Francis Drake, who is credited for exploring much of the east coast before it was developed or claimed.

 All sizes are approximate. 

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