Attractive map of Lower (Baja) California and part of mainland Mexico, based on Father Eusebio Kino’s original 1685 map of the region. Scherer was one of Kino’s professors before he left for missionary work in the region.
Kino is the Jesuit Missionary credited with proving that California was not an island. But what is especially interesting about this map is that it represents a time when Kino did believe that California was an island (thus the PARS INSULAE label above Lower California). Kino’s thinking on the matter — one of the greatest cartographic mysteries in history — changed several times. He left university in Germany thinking California was a peninsula, but after arrival in New Spain in 1681, he was convinced by his colleagues in Mexico City that it was an island. It wasn’t until the end of the 17th century, after the prototype for our Scherer map was drawn, that Kino proved the peninsularity of California.
The map was also important for its detailed mapping of interior regions, showing missions, settlements, mountains, rivers, etc. It features one of Scherer’s customary striking decorative cartouches, along with a large compass rose, sea monsters, and sailing ships.