Maps and the Beginnings of Colonial North America: Document-Based Questions

Nicholas Kryczka, PhD

This is part of a set of classroom materials for the Digital Collection Maps and the Beginnings of North America.

Document-Based Question 1

Download a PDF of this DBQ and its documents here.

Using the set of primary documents below, write a thesis-driven essay that answers the following question:

Evaluate how differing perceptions and systems of land organization held by Europeans and North American Indians shaped encounters and conflicts during the colonial era.

Documents:

  • John Smith, Virginia / Discouered and Discribed by Captayn John Smith, 1612. (Full map, image 1 of 4.)

  • John Smith, [Excerpt] The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles: With the Names of the Adventurers, Planters, and Governours from Their First Beginning anno 1584 to This Present 1626…, 1627.

  • Robert Vaughan, [engraving] “A Description of Part of the Adventures of Capt. Smith in Virginia,” from The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles: With the Names of the Adventurers, Planters, and Governours from Their First Beginning anno 1584 to This Present 1626: With the Proceedings of Those Severall Colonies and the Accidents, by John Smith, 1627. (Full engraving, image 1 of 3.)

  • Sir Robert Montgomery, “A Plan Representing the Form of Setling the Districts, or County Divisions in the Margravate of Azilia,” From A Discourse Concerning the Design’d Establishment of a New Colony to the South of Carolina, in the Most Delightful Country of the Universe, 1717.

Virginia / Discouered and Discribed by Captayn John Smith

John Smith. 1612.

Image of Virginia / Discouered and Discribed by Captayn John Smith

Captain John Smith drafted this map of Virginia, published in 1612, using information supplied by American Indians as well as his own explorations.

Image of Virginia / Discouered and Discribed by Captayn John Smith
Image of Virginia / Discouered and Discribed by Captayn John Smith
Image of Virginia / Discouered and Discribed by Captayn John Smith
Metadata Details
Item Type Map
Title Virginia / Discouered and Discribed by Captayn John Smith
Short Title Map of Virginia, 1612
Publisher Joseph Barnes
Creator John Smith
Publication Date 1612
Call Number VAULT Ayer 150.5 .V7 S6 1612
Location Special Collections 4th floor

The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles: With the Names of the Adventurers, Planters, and Governours from Their First Beginning anno 1584 to This Present 1626...

John Smith. 1627.

Image of The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles: With the Names of the Adventurers, Planters, and Governours from Their First Beginning anno 1584 to This Present 1626...

In this passage, Captain John Smith describes how Powhatan Indians depicted their world in concentric circles of meal, corn, and sticks laid out during an elaborate ceremony in 1607.

Metadata Details
Item Type Book
Title The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles: With the Names of the Adventurers, Planters, and Governours from Their First Beginning anno 1584 to This Present 1626...
Short Title Generall Historie of Virginia, 1627
Place of Publication London
Publisher Printed by I.D. and I.H. for Michael Sparkes
Creator John Smith
Publication Date 1627
Number of Pages p. 48
Call Number VAULT Ayer 150.5 .V7 S6 1627
Location Special Collections 4th floor

“A Description of Part of the Adventures of Capt. Smith in Virginia”

Robert Vaughan. From The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles: With the Names of the Adventurers, Planters, and Governours from Their First Beginning anno 1584 to This Present 1626: With the Proceedings of Those Severall Colonies and the Accidents , by John Smith. 1627.

Image of A Description of Part of the Adventures of Capt. Smith in Virginia

In this engraving, first published in 1624, Robert Vaughan depicts part of the Powhatan mapping ceremony Captain John Smith witnessed in 1607 (top center) and a map of English Virginia.

Image of A Description of Part of the Adventures of Capt. Smith in Virginia
Image of A Description of Part of the Adventures of Capt. Smith in Virginia
Metadata Details
Item Type Book Section
Title A Description of Part of the Adventures of Capt. Smith in Virginia
Publication Title The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles: With the Names of the Adventurers, Planters, and Governours from Their First Beginning anno 1584 to This Present 1626...
Short Title Adventures of Captain Smith, 1627
Book Title The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles: With the Names of the Adventurers, Planters, and Governours from Their First Beginning anno 1584 to This Present 1626: With the Proceedings of Those Severall Colonies and the Accidents
Place of Publication London
Publisher Printed by I.D. and I.H. for Michael Sparkes
Creator Robert Vaughan
Publication Creator John Smith
Publication Date 1627
Pages Opp. p. 20
Call Number VAULT Ayer 150.5 .V7 S6 1627
Location Special Collections 4th floor

“A Plan Representing the Form of Setling the Districts, or County Divisions in the Margravate of Azilia”

Sir Robert Montgomery. From A Discourse Concerning the Design'd Establishment of a New Colony to the South of Carolina, in the Most Delightful Country of the Universe, 1717.

Image of A Plan Representing the Form of Setling the Districts, or County Divisions in the Margravate of Azilia

Sir Robert Montgomery imagined what an ideal colony would look like in this 1717 plan for Azilia, a colony he hoped to establish in what is now Georgia.

Metadata Details
Item Type Book Section
Title A Plan Representing the Form of Setling the Districts, or County Divisions in the Margravate of Azilia
Short Title Plan of Azilia, 1717
Book Title A Discourse Concerning the Design'd Establishment of a New Colony to the South of Carolina, in the Most Delightful Country of the Universe
Place of Publication London
Creator Sir Robert Montgomery
Publication Date 1717
Call Number VAULT Ayer 150.5 .G3 M7 1717
Location Special Collections 4th floor

Document-Based Question 2

Download a PDF of this DBQ and its documents here.

Using the documents below, write a thesis-driven essay that answers the following question:

Analyze how Europeans’ knowledge of the North American continent changed between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries.

Documents:

  • Geronimo Chaves, “La Florida,” From Theatrvm orbis terrarvm opus nunc tertio ab ipso auctore recognitum, multisque locis castigatum, & quamplurimis nouis tabulis atque commentarijs auctum, by Abraham Ortelius, 1584.

  • Nicolas Sanson, Le Nouveau Mexique, et La Floride: tirées de diverses cartes, et relations [New Mexico and Florida: from various maps and relations], 1656.

  • Nicolas de Fer, Le cours du Missisipi ou de St. Louis fameuse riviere d’Amerique Septentrionale… [The Course of the Mississippi, or the St. Louis, the famous river of North America], 1718. (Full map, image 1 of 4.)

  • John Mitchell, “A Map of the British and French Dominions in North America: With the Roads, Distances, Limits, and Extent of the Settlements…,” 1755. (Full map, image 1 of 2.)

“La Florida”

Geronimo Chaves. From Theatrvm orbis terrarvm opus nunc tertio ab ipso auctore recognitum, multisque locis castigatum, & quamplurimis nouis tabulis atque commentarijs auctum, by Abraham Ortelius. 1584.

Image of La Florida

Geronimo de Chaves’s early map of Florida gave Europeans a rare glimpse of Spain’s North American empire.

Metadata Details
Item Type Book Section
Title La Florida
Publication Title Theatrvm orbis terrarvm... [Theater of the world]
Short Title Florida, 1584
Book Title Theatrvm orbis terrarvm opus nunc tertio ab ipso auctore recognitum, multisque locis castigatum, & quamplurimis nouis tabulis atque commentarijs auctum
Place of Publication Antwerp
Publisher Christophorum Plantinum
Creator Geronimo Chaves
Publication Creator Abraham Ortelius
Publication Date 1584
Pages Opp. p. 8
Call Number VAULT oversize Ayer 135 .O7 1584
Location Special Collections 4th floor

Le Nouveau Mexique, et La Floride: tirées de diverses cartes, et relations [New Mexico and Florida: from various maps and relations]

Nicolas Sanson. 1656.

Image of Le Nouveau Mexique, et La Floride: tirées de diverses cartes, et relations [New Mexico and Florida: from various maps and relations]

Nicolas Sanson’s map of New Mexico and Florida offered Europeans their first detailed view of the American Southwest, and for decades convinced many that California was an island.

Metadata Details
Item Type Map
Title Le Nouveau Mexique, et La Floride: tirées de diverses cartes, et relations [New Mexico and Florida: from various maps and relations]
Short Title New Mexico and Florida, 1656
Place of Publication Paris
Publisher Chez Pierre Mariette
Creator Nicolas Sanson
Publication Date 1656
Call Number map2F G3700 1656 .S3
Location Special Collections 4th floor

Le cours du Missisipi ou de St. Louis fameuse riviere d’Amerique Septentrionale... [The Course of the Mississippi, or the St. Louis, the famous river of North America]

Nicolas de Fer. 1718.

Image of Le cours du Missisipi ou de St. Louis fameuse riviere d’Amerique Septentrionale... [The Course of the Mississippi, or the St. Louis, the famous river of North America]

The Company of the West, which controlled trade between France and its North American colonies, commissioned this map of the Mississippi River and its environs to highlight the territory’s commercial potential.

Image of Le cours du Missisipi ou de St. Louis fameuse riviere d’Amerique Septentrionale... [The Course of the Mississippi, or the St. Louis, the famous river of North America]
Image of Le cours du Missisipi ou de St. Louis fameuse riviere d’Amerique Septentrionale... [The Course of the Mississippi, or the St. Louis, the famous river of North America]
Image of Le cours du Missisipi ou de St. Louis fameuse riviere d’Amerique Septentrionale... [The Course of the Mississippi, or the St. Louis, the famous river of North America]
Metadata Details
Item Type Map
Title Le cours du Missisipi ou de St. Louis fameuse riviere d’Amerique Septentrionale... [The Course of the Mississippi, or the St. Louis, the famous river of North America]
Short Title Course of Mississippi River, 1718
Place of Publication Paris
Publisher Chez J. F. Bernard
Creator Nicolas de Fer
Publication Date 1718
Call Number map6F G4042 .M5 1718 F4
Location Special Collections 4th floor

A Map of the British and French Dominions in North America: With the Roads, Distances, Limits, and Extent of the Settlements...

John Mitchell. 1755.

Image of A Map of the British and French Dominions in North America: With the Roads, Distances, Limits, and Extent of the Settlements...

Working on behalf of the British government, John Mitchell prepared this map on the eve of the Seven Years’ War to bolster British claims in North America against those of France.

Image of A Map of the British and French Dominions in North America: With the Roads, Distances, Limits, and Extent of the Settlements...
Metadata Details
Item Type Map
Title A Map of the British and French Dominions in North America: With the Roads, Distances, Limits, and Extent of the Settlements...
Short Title Map of British and French Dominions, 1755
Place of Publication London
Publisher Publish'd by the author
Creator John Mitchell
Publication Date 1755
Call Number VAULT drawer Ayer 133 .M66 1755
Location Special Collections 4th floor

Return to Top

Document-Based Question 3

Download a PDF of this DBQ and its documents here.

Using the documents below, write a thesis-driven essay that answers the following question:

Describe the motives that European colonial powers brought to their efforts to map North America. Assess the implications that their new knowledge had for warfare—both between Indians and Europeans, and among European powers—in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Documents

  • Baptista Boazio, “Civitas S. Dominici sita in Hispaniola [City of S. Domingo located in Hispaniola],”. From Expeditio Francisci Draki Eqvitis Angli in Indias Occidentales a. M.d. Lxxxv. Quâ Vrbes, Fanum D. Iacobi, D. Dominici, D. Augustini & Carthagena, Captae Fuêre. Additis Passim Regionum Locorúmque Omnium Tabulis Geographicis Quàm Accuratissimis, by Walter Bigges. 1588. (Detail of battle, image 3 of 3.)

  • Robert Vaughan, [engraving], “A Description of Part of the Adventures of Capt. Smith in Virginia,” From The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles: With the Names of the Adventurers, Planters, and Governours from Their First Beginning anno 1584 to This Present 1626: With the Proceedings of Those Severall Colonies and the Accidents, by John Smith. 1627. (Full engraving, image 1 of 3.)

  • John Foster, “A Map of New-England, Being the First That Ever Was Here Cut, and Done by the Best Pattern That Could Be Had, Which Being in Some Places Defective, It Made the Other Less Exact: Yet Doth It Sufficiently Shew the Scituation of the Country, and Conveniently” From A Narrative of the Troubles with the Indians in New-England, from the First Planting Thereof in the Year 1607 to This Present Year 1677 but Chiefly of the Late Troubles in the Two Last Years, 1675 and 1676 to Which Is Added a Discourse About the Warre wit, by William Hubbard. 1677. (Full map, image 1 of 8.)

  • John Mitchell, “A Map of the British and French Dominions in North America: With the Roads, Distances, Limits, and Extent of the Settlements…, 1755.” (Detail of map title, image 2 of 2.)

“Civitas S. Dominici sita in Hispaniola [City of S. Domingo located in Hispaniola]”

Baptista Boazio. From Expeditio Francisci Draki Eqvitis Angli in Indias Occidentales a. M.d. Lxxxv. Quâ Vrbes, Fanum D. Iacobi, D. Dominici, D. Augustini & Carthagena, Captae Fuêre. Additis Passim Regionum Locorúmque Omnium Tabulis Geographicis Quàm Accuratissimis, by Walter Bigges. 1588.

Image of Civitas S. Dominici sita in Hispaniola [City of S. Domingo located in Hispaniola]

This map by Baptista Boazio, an Italian cartographer working in London, celebrates the English privateer Sir Francis Drake’s 1586 raid on the Spanish colony of Santo Domingo on the island of Hispaniola.

Image of Civitas S. Dominici sita in Hispaniola [City of S. Domingo located in Hispaniola]
Image of Civitas S. Dominici sita in Hispaniola [City of S. Domingo located in Hispaniola]
Metadata Details
Item Type Book Section
Title Civitas S. Dominici sita in Hispaniola [City of S. Domingo located in Hispaniola]
Publication Title Expeditio Francisci Draki eqvitis Angli in Indias Occidentales a. m. d. lxxxv. quâ vrbes, fanum d. Iacobi, d. Dominici, d. Augustini & Carthagena, Captae Fuêre. [Summary and true discourse of Sir Francis Drake’s West Indian Voyage...]
Short Title Battle of Santo Domingo, 1588
Book Title Expeditio Francisci Draki Eqvitis Angli in Indias Occidentales a. M.d. Lxxxv. Quâ Vrbes, Fanum D. Iacobi, D. Dominici, D. Augustini & Carthagena, Captae Fuêre. Additis Passim Regionum Locorúmque Omnium Tabulis Geographicis Quàm Accuratissimis
Place of Publication Leiden
Publisher Apud F. Raphelengium
Creator Baptista Boazio
Publication Creator Walter Bigges
Publication Date 1588
Call Number VAULT Ayer 116 .D8 B5 1588
Location Special Collections 4th floor

“A Description of Part of the Adventures of Capt. Smith in Virginia”

Robert Vaughan. From The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles: With the Names of the Adventurers, Planters, and Governours from Their First Beginning anno 1584 to This Present 1626: With the Proceedings of Those Severall Colonies and the Accidents , by John Smith. 1627.

Image of A Description of Part of the Adventures of Capt. Smith in Virginia

In this engraving, first published in 1624, Robert Vaughan depicts part of the Powhatan mapping ceremony Captain John Smith witnessed in 1607 (top center) and a map of English Virginia.

Image of A Description of Part of the Adventures of Capt. Smith in Virginia
Image of A Description of Part of the Adventures of Capt. Smith in Virginia
Metadata Details
Item Type Book Section
Title A Description of Part of the Adventures of Capt. Smith in Virginia
Publication Title The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles: With the Names of the Adventurers, Planters, and Governours from Their First Beginning anno 1584 to This Present 1626...
Short Title Adventures of Captain Smith, 1627
Book Title The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles: With the Names of the Adventurers, Planters, and Governours from Their First Beginning anno 1584 to This Present 1626: With the Proceedings of Those Severall Colonies and the Accidents
Place of Publication London
Publisher Printed by I.D. and I.H. for Michael Sparkes
Creator Robert Vaughan
Publication Creator John Smith
Publication Date 1627
Pages Opp. p. 20
Call Number VAULT Ayer 150.5 .V7 S6 1627
Location Special Collections 4th floor

“A Map of New-England, Being the First That Ever Was Here Cut, and Done by the Best Pattern That Could Be Had, Which Being in Some Places Defective, It Made the Other Less Exact: Yet Doth It Sufficiently Shew the Scituation of the Country, and Conveniently”

John Foster. From A Narrative of the Troubles with the Indians in New-England, from the First Planting Thereof in the Year 1607 to This Present Year 1677 but Chiefly of the Late Troubles in the Two Last Years, 1675 and 1676 to Which Is Added a Discourse About the Warre wit, by William Hubbard. 1677.

Image of A Map of New-England, Being the First That Ever Was Here Cut, and Done by the Best Pattern That Could Be Had, Which Being in Some Places Defective, It Made the Other Less Exact: Yet Doth It Sufficiently Shew the Scituation of the Country, and Conveniently

The Reverend William Hubbard of Boston included this map of New England—the first map engraved and printed in English America—along with an explanatory table in his 1677 history of King Philip’s War and earlier conflicts between New England colonists and

Image of A Map of New-England, Being the First That Ever Was Here Cut, and Done by the Best Pattern That Could Be Had, Which Being in Some Places Defective, It Made the Other Less Exact: Yet Doth It Sufficiently Shew the Scituation of the Country, and Conveniently
Image of A Map of New-England, Being the First That Ever Was Here Cut, and Done by the Best Pattern That Could Be Had, Which Being in Some Places Defective, It Made the Other Less Exact: Yet Doth It Sufficiently Shew the Scituation of the Country, and Conveniently
Image of A Map of New-England, Being the First That Ever Was Here Cut, and Done by the Best Pattern That Could Be Had, Which Being in Some Places Defective, It Made the Other Less Exact: Yet Doth It Sufficiently Shew the Scituation of the Country, and Conveniently
Image of A Map of New-England, Being the First That Ever Was Here Cut, and Done by the Best Pattern That Could Be Had, Which Being in Some Places Defective, It Made the Other Less Exact: Yet Doth It Sufficiently Shew the Scituation of the Country, and Conveniently
Image of A Map of New-England, Being the First That Ever Was Here Cut, and Done by the Best Pattern That Could Be Had, Which Being in Some Places Defective, It Made the Other Less Exact: Yet Doth It Sufficiently Shew the Scituation of the Country, and Conveniently
Image of A Map of New-England, Being the First That Ever Was Here Cut, and Done by the Best Pattern That Could Be Had, Which Being in Some Places Defective, It Made the Other Less Exact: Yet Doth It Sufficiently Shew the Scituation of the Country, and Conveniently
Image of A Map of New-England, Being the First That Ever Was Here Cut, and Done by the Best Pattern That Could Be Had, Which Being in Some Places Defective, It Made the Other Less Exact: Yet Doth It Sufficiently Shew the Scituation of the Country, and Conveniently
Metadata Details
Item Type Book Section
Title A Map of New-England, Being the First That Ever Was Here Cut, and Done by the Best Pattern That Could Be Had, Which Being in Some Places Defective, It Made the Other Less Exact: Yet Doth It Sufficiently Shew the Scituation of the Country, and Conveniently
Publication Title A Narrative of the Troubles with the Indians in New-England, from the First Planting Thereof in the Year 1607 to This Present Year 1677 but Chiefly of the Late Troubles in the Two Last Years, 1675 and 1676 to Which Is Added a Discourse About the Warre wit
Short Title Map of New-England, 1677
Book Title A Narrative of the Troubles with the Indians in New-England, from the First Planting Thereof in the Year 1607 to This Present Year 1677 but Chiefly of the Late Troubles in the Two Last Years, 1675 and 1676 to Which Is Added a Discourse About the Warre wit
Place of Publication Boston
Publisher John Foster
Creator John Foster
Publication Creator William Hubbard
Publication Date 1677
Call Number VAULT Ayer 171 .H8 1677
Location Special Collections 4th floor

A Map of the British and French Dominions in North America: With the Roads, Distances, Limits, and Extent of the Settlements...

John Mitchell. 1755.

Image of A Map of the British and French Dominions in North America: With the Roads, Distances, Limits, and Extent of the Settlements...

Working on behalf of the British government, John Mitchell prepared this map on the eve of the Seven Years’ War to bolster British claims in North America against those of France.

Image of A Map of the British and French Dominions in North America: With the Roads, Distances, Limits, and Extent of the Settlements...
Metadata Details
Item Type Map
Title A Map of the British and French Dominions in North America: With the Roads, Distances, Limits, and Extent of the Settlements...
Short Title Map of British and French Dominions, 1755
Place of Publication London
Publisher Publish'd by the author
Creator John Mitchell
Publication Date 1755
Call Number VAULT drawer Ayer 133 .M66 1755
Location Special Collections 4th floor

Return to Top

Document-Based Question 4

Download a PDF of this DBQ and its documents here.

Using the documents below, write a thesis-driven essay that answers the following question:

Describe the variety of Europeans’ visual depictions of North American Indians during the era of colonial settlement. Evaluate the significance of these depictions within Europeans’ views of exploration, conquest, and settlement.

Documents:

  • Baptista Boazio, “Civitas S. Dominici sita in Hispaniola [City of S. Domingo located in Hispaniola],”. From Expeditio Francisci Draki Eqvitis Angli in Indias Occidentales a. M.d. Lxxxv. Quâ Vrbes, Fanum D. Iacobi, D. Dominici, D. Augustini & Carthagena, Captae Fuêre. Additis Passim Regionum Locorúmque Omnium Tabulis Geographicis Quàm Accuratissimis, by Walter Bigges. 1588. (Detail of battle, image 3 of 3.)

  • Robert Vaughan, [engraving], “A Description of Part of the Adventures of Capt. Smith in Virginia,” From The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles: With the Names of the Adventurers, Planters, and Governours from Their First Beginning anno 1584 to This Present 1626: With the Proceedings of Those Severall Colonies and the Accidents, by John Smith. 1627. (Full engraving, image 1 of 3.)

  • Nicolas de Fer, “Le cours du Missisipi ou de St. Louis fameuse riviere d’Amerique Septentrionale… [The Course of the Mississippi, or the St. Louis, the famous river of North America].” 1718. (Detail of map title, image 4 of 4.)

  • John Mitchell, “A Map of the British and French Dominions in North America: With the Roads, Distances, Limits, and Extent of the Settlements…, 1755.” (Detail of map title, image 2 of 2.)

“Civitas S. Dominici sita in Hispaniola [City of S. Domingo located in Hispaniola]”

Baptista Boazio. From Expeditio Francisci Draki Eqvitis Angli in Indias Occidentales a. M.d. Lxxxv. Quâ Vrbes, Fanum D. Iacobi, D. Dominici, D. Augustini & Carthagena, Captae Fuêre. Additis Passim Regionum Locorúmque Omnium Tabulis Geographicis Quàm Accuratissimis, by Walter Bigges. 1588.

Image of Civitas S. Dominici sita in Hispaniola [City of S. Domingo located in Hispaniola]

This map by Baptista Boazio, an Italian cartographer working in London, celebrates the English privateer Sir Francis Drake’s 1586 raid on the Spanish colony of Santo Domingo on the island of Hispaniola.

Image of Civitas S. Dominici sita in Hispaniola [City of S. Domingo located in Hispaniola]
Image of Civitas S. Dominici sita in Hispaniola [City of S. Domingo located in Hispaniola]
Metadata Details
Item Type Book Section
Title Civitas S. Dominici sita in Hispaniola [City of S. Domingo located in Hispaniola]
Publication Title Expeditio Francisci Draki eqvitis Angli in Indias Occidentales a. m. d. lxxxv. quâ vrbes, fanum d. Iacobi, d. Dominici, d. Augustini & Carthagena, Captae Fuêre. [Summary and true discourse of Sir Francis Drake’s West Indian Voyage...]
Short Title Battle of Santo Domingo, 1588
Book Title Expeditio Francisci Draki Eqvitis Angli in Indias Occidentales a. M.d. Lxxxv. Quâ Vrbes, Fanum D. Iacobi, D. Dominici, D. Augustini & Carthagena, Captae Fuêre. Additis Passim Regionum Locorúmque Omnium Tabulis Geographicis Quàm Accuratissimis
Place of Publication Leiden
Publisher Apud F. Raphelengium
Creator Baptista Boazio
Publication Creator Walter Bigges
Publication Date 1588
Call Number VAULT Ayer 116 .D8 B5 1588
Location Special Collections 4th floor

“A Description of Part of the Adventures of Capt. Smith in Virginia”

Robert Vaughan. From The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles: With the Names of the Adventurers, Planters, and Governours from Their First Beginning anno 1584 to This Present 1626: With the Proceedings of Those Severall Colonies and the Accidents , by John Smith. 1627.

Image of A Description of Part of the Adventures of Capt. Smith in Virginia

In this engraving, first published in 1624, Robert Vaughan depicts part of the Powhatan mapping ceremony Captain John Smith witnessed in 1607 (top center) and a map of English Virginia.

Image of A Description of Part of the Adventures of Capt. Smith in Virginia
Image of A Description of Part of the Adventures of Capt. Smith in Virginia
Metadata Details
Item Type Book Section
Title A Description of Part of the Adventures of Capt. Smith in Virginia
Publication Title The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles: With the Names of the Adventurers, Planters, and Governours from Their First Beginning anno 1584 to This Present 1626...
Short Title Adventures of Captain Smith, 1627
Book Title The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles: With the Names of the Adventurers, Planters, and Governours from Their First Beginning anno 1584 to This Present 1626: With the Proceedings of Those Severall Colonies and the Accidents
Place of Publication London
Publisher Printed by I.D. and I.H. for Michael Sparkes
Creator Robert Vaughan
Publication Creator John Smith
Publication Date 1627
Pages Opp. p. 20
Call Number VAULT Ayer 150.5 .V7 S6 1627
Location Special Collections 4th floor

Le cours du Missisipi ou de St. Louis fameuse riviere d’Amerique Septentrionale... [The Course of the Mississippi, or the St. Louis, the famous river of North America]

Nicolas de Fer. 1718.

Image of Le cours du Missisipi ou de St. Louis fameuse riviere d’Amerique Septentrionale... [The Course of the Mississippi, or the St. Louis, the famous river of North America]

The Company of the West, which controlled trade between France and its North American colonies, commissioned this map of the Mississippi River and its environs to highlight the territory’s commercial potential.

Image of Le cours du Missisipi ou de St. Louis fameuse riviere d’Amerique Septentrionale... [The Course of the Mississippi, or the St. Louis, the famous river of North America]
Image of Le cours du Missisipi ou de St. Louis fameuse riviere d’Amerique Septentrionale... [The Course of the Mississippi, or the St. Louis, the famous river of North America]
Image of Le cours du Missisipi ou de St. Louis fameuse riviere d’Amerique Septentrionale... [The Course of the Mississippi, or the St. Louis, the famous river of North America]
Metadata Details
Item Type Map
Title Le cours du Missisipi ou de St. Louis fameuse riviere d’Amerique Septentrionale... [The Course of the Mississippi, or the St. Louis, the famous river of North America]
Short Title Course of Mississippi River, 1718
Place of Publication Paris
Publisher Chez J. F. Bernard
Creator Nicolas de Fer
Publication Date 1718
Call Number map6F G4042 .M5 1718 F4
Location Special Collections 4th floor

A Map of the British and French Dominions in North America: With the Roads, Distances, Limits, and Extent of the Settlements...

John Mitchell. 1755.

Image of A Map of the British and French Dominions in North America: With the Roads, Distances, Limits, and Extent of the Settlements...

Working on behalf of the British government, John Mitchell prepared this map on the eve of the Seven Years’ War to bolster British claims in North America against those of France.

Image of A Map of the British and French Dominions in North America: With the Roads, Distances, Limits, and Extent of the Settlements...
Metadata Details
Item Type Map
Title A Map of the British and French Dominions in North America: With the Roads, Distances, Limits, and Extent of the Settlements...
Short Title Map of British and French Dominions, 1755
Place of Publication London
Publisher Publish'd by the author
Creator John Mitchell
Publication Date 1755
Call Number VAULT drawer Ayer 133 .M66 1755
Location Special Collections 4th floor

Return to Top

Document-Based Question 5

Download a PDF of this DBQ and its documents here.

Using the documents below, write a thesis-driven essay that answers the following question:

Why were certain landforms and waterways of strategic importance to European colonial powers as they settled North America during the colonial era?

Documents:

  • Baptista Boazio, “Civitas S. Dominici sita in Hispaniola [City of S. Domingo located in Hispaniola],”. From Expeditio Francisci Draki Eqvitis Angli in Indias Occidentales a. M.d. Lxxxv. Quâ Vrbes, Fanum D. Iacobi, D. Dominici, D. Augustini & Carthagena, Captae Fuêre. Additis Passim Regionum Locorúmque Omnium Tabulis Geographicis Quàm Accuratissimis, by Walter Bigges. 1588. (Details of ships and battle, images 2 of 3 and 3 of 3.)

  • Nicolas de Fer, Le cours du Missisipi ou de St. Louis fameuse riviere d’Amerique Septentrionale… [The Course of the Mississippi, or the St. Louis, the famous river of North America],. 1718. (Detail of map title, image 4 of 4.)

  • John Mitchell, “A Map of the British and French Dominions in North America: With the Roads, Distances, Limits, and Extent of the Settlements…, 1755.” (Detail of map title, image 2 of 2.)

  • Nicolaes Visscher, “Novi Belgii Novaeque Angliae nec non partis Virginiae tabula multis in locis emendata per Nicolaum Visscher [New Netherland New England…],” Circa 1690.

“Civitas S. Dominici sita in Hispaniola [City of S. Domingo located in Hispaniola]”

Baptista Boazio. From Expeditio Francisci Draki Eqvitis Angli in Indias Occidentales a. M.d. Lxxxv. Quâ Vrbes, Fanum D. Iacobi, D. Dominici, D. Augustini & Carthagena, Captae Fuêre. Additis Passim Regionum Locorúmque Omnium Tabulis Geographicis Quàm Accuratissimis, by Walter Bigges. 1588.

Image of Civitas S. Dominici sita in Hispaniola [City of S. Domingo located in Hispaniola]

This map by Baptista Boazio, an Italian cartographer working in London, celebrates the English privateer Sir Francis Drake’s 1586 raid on the Spanish colony of Santo Domingo on the island of Hispaniola.

Image of Civitas S. Dominici sita in Hispaniola [City of S. Domingo located in Hispaniola]
Image of Civitas S. Dominici sita in Hispaniola [City of S. Domingo located in Hispaniola]
Metadata Details
Item Type Book Section
Title Civitas S. Dominici sita in Hispaniola [City of S. Domingo located in Hispaniola]
Publication Title Expeditio Francisci Draki eqvitis Angli in Indias Occidentales a. m. d. lxxxv. quâ vrbes, fanum d. Iacobi, d. Dominici, d. Augustini & Carthagena, Captae Fuêre. [Summary and true discourse of Sir Francis Drake’s West Indian Voyage...]
Short Title Battle of Santo Domingo, 1588
Book Title Expeditio Francisci Draki Eqvitis Angli in Indias Occidentales a. M.d. Lxxxv. Quâ Vrbes, Fanum D. Iacobi, D. Dominici, D. Augustini & Carthagena, Captae Fuêre. Additis Passim Regionum Locorúmque Omnium Tabulis Geographicis Quàm Accuratissimis
Place of Publication Leiden
Publisher Apud F. Raphelengium
Creator Baptista Boazio
Publication Creator Walter Bigges
Publication Date 1588
Call Number VAULT Ayer 116 .D8 B5 1588
Location Special Collections 4th floor

Le cours du Missisipi ou de St. Louis fameuse riviere d’Amerique Septentrionale... [The Course of the Mississippi, or the St. Louis, the famous river of North America]

Nicolas de Fer. 1718.

Image of Le cours du Missisipi ou de St. Louis fameuse riviere d’Amerique Septentrionale... [The Course of the Mississippi, or the St. Louis, the famous river of North America]

The Company of the West, which controlled trade between France and its North American colonies, commissioned this map of the Mississippi River and its environs to highlight the territory’s commercial potential.

Image of Le cours du Missisipi ou de St. Louis fameuse riviere d’Amerique Septentrionale... [The Course of the Mississippi, or the St. Louis, the famous river of North America]
Image of Le cours du Missisipi ou de St. Louis fameuse riviere d’Amerique Septentrionale... [The Course of the Mississippi, or the St. Louis, the famous river of North America]
Image of Le cours du Missisipi ou de St. Louis fameuse riviere d’Amerique Septentrionale... [The Course of the Mississippi, or the St. Louis, the famous river of North America]
Metadata Details
Item Type Map
Title Le cours du Missisipi ou de St. Louis fameuse riviere d’Amerique Septentrionale... [The Course of the Mississippi, or the St. Louis, the famous river of North America]
Short Title Course of Mississippi River, 1718
Place of Publication Paris
Publisher Chez J. F. Bernard
Creator Nicolas de Fer
Publication Date 1718
Call Number map6F G4042 .M5 1718 F4
Location Special Collections 4th floor

A Map of the British and French Dominions in North America: With the Roads, Distances, Limits, and Extent of the Settlements...

John Mitchell. 1755.

Image of A Map of the British and French Dominions in North America: With the Roads, Distances, Limits, and Extent of the Settlements...

Working on behalf of the British government, John Mitchell prepared this map on the eve of the Seven Years’ War to bolster British claims in North America against those of France.

Image of A Map of the British and French Dominions in North America: With the Roads, Distances, Limits, and Extent of the Settlements...
Metadata Details
Item Type Map
Title A Map of the British and French Dominions in North America: With the Roads, Distances, Limits, and Extent of the Settlements...
Short Title Map of British and French Dominions, 1755
Place of Publication London
Publisher Publish'd by the author
Creator John Mitchell
Publication Date 1755
Call Number VAULT drawer Ayer 133 .M66 1755
Location Special Collections 4th floor

Novi Belgii Novaeque Angliae nec non partis Virginiae tabula multis in locis emendata per Nicolaum Visscher [New Netherland New England...]

Nicolaes Visscher. Circa 1690.

Image of Novi Belgii Novaeque Angliae nec non partis Virginiae tabula multis in locis emendata per Nicolaum Visscher [New Netherland New England...]

This map of New Amsterdam and New England, drawn by the Dutch cartographer Nicolaes Visscher, draws attention to conflicting Dutch and English claims to land west of Narragansett Bay.

Metadata Details
Item Type Map
Title Novi Belgii Novaeque Angliae nec non partis Virginiae tabula multis in locis emendata per Nicolaum Visscher [New Netherland New England...]
Short Title New Amsterdam and New England, 1690
Place of Publication Amsterdam?
Creator Nicolaes Visscher
Publication Date Circa 1690
Call Number VAULT Ayer 133 .V83 16--
Location Special Collections 4th floor

Return to Top

About the Author

Nicholas Kryczka is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Social Sciences and the Department of History at the University of Chicago. He teaches coursework in American Civilization, urban history, and oral history and conducts research on the history of post-civil rights school reform in Chicago. Previously, Nick worked for a decade as a high school social studies teacher in the Chicago Public Schools.

Return to Top


This collection was last updated