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Robert Morden  &  Herman Moll:  Seat of War in the West-Indies, or the Islands of America in the North Sea; Together with the adjacent Dominions; Explaining what belongs to Spain, England, France, Holland &c. As also the severall tracts made by the Gallions and flota from place to place . . .

Maps of Southeast America (Virginia Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina)


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Title: Seat of War in the West-Indies, or the Islands of America in the North Sea; Together with the adjacent Dominions; Explaining what belongs to Spain, England, France, Holland &c. As also the severall tracts made by the Gallions and flota from place to place . . .

Map Maker: Robert Morden  &   Herman Moll

Place / Date: London / 1702

Coloring: Hand Colored

Size: 40 x 23.5 inches

Condition: VG

Price: $12,500.00

Inventory ID: 35525ops


Description:

Striking old color example of this rare separately issued map of the Theater of War during the War of Jenkins Ear, published in London circa 1702, by Robert Morden & Herman Moll.

A separately published and very rare English produced map of the War of Spanish Succession, (1701-1714). This war was fought between two alliances of European powers, including a divided Spain, over who had the right to succeed Charles II as king of Spain. Primarily a European war,  there were several naval skirmishes and many privateers cruised the waters in search of the Spanish treasure ships to plunder. In 1701 both England and France, who were allied with Spain, sent fleets there. This map was likely produced, the time or soon after, the English fleet sailed. Cartographically, the map is a curious amalgam of cartographic information along the Gulf Coast. The source of the Mississippi appears near Corpus Christie, a vestage of La Salle and Franquelin's work in the early 1680s and thereafter followed by Rossi, Coronell, Roillard, De Fer and Morden in the 1690s.  

The map was the subject of some dispute with French mapmaker Pieter Mortier, who Morden accused of plagery.  This second edition of the map includee the following note at the top right:

Whereas Peter Mortier Bookseller of Amsterdam hath lately published an inperfect Coppy of a Map entitled the Seat of War in the West Indies &c. to which he hath affixed his own name, and therin vainly assumed the title of Geographer tho he understands nothing of a Map, and yet would hereby amuse the World, as if the Originall which is much more Correct, was a Coppy after his; this is to give notice that this is the true Originall.

 

In describing Mortier's map, Cohen & Taliaferro (Catalog 2, Map #35) note as follows:

During [the War of Spanish Succession], Britain, Holland and the German Empire pitted themselves against France and Spain. For the first time, the legendary fleets of Spanish treasure ships became military targets, offering conquering navies the promise of unimaginable wealth in addition to strategical advantage. Campbell notes that such raids had previously been the sport of pirates and buccaneers. In spite of the wealth they carried, the Spanish treasure fleets held to aregular schedule, as it was vital that the ships, with their heavily armed escorts, leave before late summer to avoid the deadly hurricane season.

Early in the summer, two Spanish fleets would leave Cadiz, the main section heading via Cartagena for the collection points at Portobelo (close to Panama), the other making for Vera Cruz. Forewarned of their arrival, the local authorities would have gathered the bullion from the mines of Mexico and Peru, as well as the cargo brought from the Philippines. The two laden fleets would then rendezvous at Havana for the homeward passage” -- Campbell.

The Morden & Moll map locates these routes and, as with the alleged Mortier piracy of Morden & Moll's map, “is in effect a plain man’s guide to the treasure shipments, plotting the routes and describing the routines.” The large vignette in the lower left contains a lavish scene illustrating the Gold Trade, while “the chest crammed with ingots would have made any Bluebeard go weak at the knees, but the truth is that by this date the Spaniards were shipping silver, not gold.”

The full title of the map is:

Seat of war in the West-Indies, or the islands of America in the North Sea; Together with the adjacent Dominions; Explaning what belongs to Spain, England, France, Holland &c. As also the severall tracts made by the Gallions and flota from place to place, with other considerable improvements according to the Newest and best Observations. By Robert Morden & Herman Moll. London. Sold by R. Morden at ye Atlas in Cornhil, by Mrrs. Lea at ye Atlas & Hercules in Cheapside, and by J. Seller & C. Price at the Hermitage staires.

The present example is the second edition of the map advertised in the Post Man, for May 19-21, 1702.   Several later editions are known to exist, including:

  • 1709 circa, with imprint of Morden and William Knight.
  • 1740--no mapmaker imprint


Condition Description: 2-sheets, joined, as issued. Repaired tear at lower center of the map.


References: Campbell, Early Maps, pp. 60-61, plate 26.


Related Categories:
Maps of the Caribbean
Maps of Central America
Maps of Florida
Maps of Mexico
Maps of the American South (Tennessee, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky)
Maps of South America
Maps of Southeast America (Virginia Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina)