This curious and rare map traces the history of Spanish possessions and activities in America. It divides the United States by color-coding to show the full extent of New Spain there, from Florida to California, as well as the original 13 colonies.
The large size of the map allows the mapmaker to include a lot of information. The accomplishments and discoveries are highlighted, both in text along the left side, as well as bold black routes indicated on the map. California is especially prominent, with “El Camino Real” depicted and a series of vignettes of Spanish missions.
The genesis behind the map, which was first published in 1776, seems to be the bicentennial of the American Declaration of Independence, and text along the right side lists moments in which Spain contributed to American independence. The measures included economic assistance, use of ports, and diplomatic recognition. A series of portraits show Spanish kings and explorers along with George Washington and Benjamin Franklin.
An inset illustration drawn by a descendent of Christopher Columbus shows the Admiral’s three famous ships in 1492.
Numbered 133/300 and signed and dated by the artist.