Colonial settlement after 1600 progressively replaced the supposedly indigenous district of Norumbega with the European imposition of new regions: New France, New England, and the New Netherlands. First along the coast, and then along the major rivers into the interior, European and Native place-names fought their way across the surface of the maps. Against the European desire to name the new lands after those with which they were already familiar–John Smith’s 1614 map of New England presents an extreme case (26, 27)–the early settlers depended in large part upon trade and other contacts with the Native peoples and so necessarily adopted indigenous place-names. Ultimately, the local details of colonial settlement, endlessly repeated, produced the convoluted interweaving of English, French, and Native place-names that is the hallmark of modern New England.
The increased interest shown after 1600 by Europeans in the colonization of North America is concisely shown in this map. It shows the English colonies established by 1620 in Virginia and New England, together with the new Dutch colony of the New Netherlands. This map is the first to show New Amsterdam (New York), founded only in 1626. For New England, de Laet clearly relied on John Smith's map for many place-names (26, 27), but mixed them with those derived from indigenous sources and recorded on older maps (e.g., Norembegua). This is also the first map to show the name Massachusets.
HESSEL GERRITSZ. (Dutch, 1593-1649)
JOANNES DE LAET (Dutch, 1583-1649)
NOVA ANGLIA, NOVVM BELGIVM, ET VIRGINIA
From: de Laet, Beschrijvinghe van West-Indien (Leyden: Isaac Elzevier, 1630)
Engraving, hand colored, 27.9 x 36.0 cm
Captain JOHN SMITH (English, 1580-1631)
New England Die mercklichsten dheile ...
In: Lieven Hulsius, Beschreibung dess Neuwen Engellandts ... (Frankfurt-am-Main, 1617)
Facsimile of an engraving, original in the Osher Collection, detail
The first map to name the region of "New England" was published by John Smith in 1616, in an effort to promote colonization. (26 is an early German copy.) Smith asked Prince Charles--later, Charles I--to replace the indigenous place-names with properly "English" ones. This apparently imperialist act in fact constituted only a symbolic event. Subsequent settlement by English colonists--the Pilgrims landed in 1620--was focussed along the Charles River and led to several settlements; these can be seen in the 1635 version of Smith's map (27). Only three names from Smith's map survived through use by the settlers: Cape Ann; Charles River; and, Plymouth. Otherwise, the European settlers imposed their own names or adapted indigenous names. The table below shows a selection of place-names from Massachusetts and Maine, showing the original names (if given by Smith), Smith's replacement names, and their approximate modern equivalents. Massachusetts: Original Names Smith's Names Modern Names (Approximate) Cape Cod Cape James Cape Cod Chawum Barwick Barnstable Accomack Plimouth Plymouth Sagoquas Oxford Marshfield London Scituate Massachusetts Charles Charles River River River Totant Fawmouth Revere "Undiscovered Bristow Beverly Country" Naemkeck Bastable Gloucester Cape Cape Anne Cape Ann Trabigzanda Aggawom South Hampton Ipswich Maine: Accomminticus Boston York Sassanowes Snodoun Hill Mount Mount Agamenticus Point Kent Cape Elizabeth Bahana Dartmouth Portland Sandwich Falmouth Harrington Casco Bay Bay Aucocisco The Base Freeport Cape Elizabeth Small Point Sagadohock Leth Popham Kinebeck Edenborough Richmond River Forth Kennebeck River Pemmaquid St. Iohn Towne Pemaquid Monahigan Barty Isle Monhegan Is. Matinnack Willowby Isles Matinicus Is. Point Travers Owls Head Pembrock Bay Penobscot Bay
Captain JOHN SMITH (English, 1580-1631)
New England The most remarqueable parts ... From: Historia Mundi, or Mercator's Atlas ... (London, 1635)
Engraving, 30.0 x 35.2 cm
Foster made this map, the first to be printed in North America, as a geographical guide to Hubbard's history of King Philip's War. He mapped the extent of European settlement at the outbreak of the war, together with the locations of key events in the war. Foster associated the territorial region of 'New England' with a historical region of conflict between the English and the 'Indians.' English settlement in the region was thus legitimated by the victory over the 'violent savages.' Note: the numbers on the map are keyed to the text. For example, the Casco Bay portion starts, "40. Casco, a large Bay scatteringly inhabited and full of Islands, where Sept. 1675, Mr. Purchase his House was plundered. Sept. 9, following, Wakely's House and Family was spoiled. ..." Note: Hubbard's book was originally published in Boston in 1677. A copy was published in London, again in 1677, together with a copy of the map. The London map, shown here, can be distinguished from the Boston map by its several spelling mistakes. Most notably, the White Hills were erroneously labelled as the "Wine Hills."
JOHN FOSTER (American, 1648-1681)
A MAP OF NEW-ENGLAND
In: William Hubbard, The Present State of New-England ... (London, 1677)
Woodcut, 30.0 x 38.7 cm
Smith's configuration of the region of "New England" was successful, in that the name stuck and that the region was the subject of several maps through the 1600s (e.g., 28). On the other hand, English settlement in the region remained quite scattered until 1700. Wells's map of that date places the region into the context of all of the English plantations in North America. In this respect, New England can be understood as comprising the area of English settlement east of the former Dutch colony of New Netherlands (New York).
EDWARD WELLS (English, 1667-1727)
A New Map Of the Most Considerable Plantations of the English In America ...
From: A new set of maps both of antient and present geography ... (Oxford, 1700)
Engraving, hand colored, 35.4 x 47.4 cm
A new wave of immigration after 1700 consolidated the English presence in New England. The areas depopulated during the wars with the Natives in the 1670s and 1680s were resettled and the frontier pushed still further north and west. This growth is represented in Green's map of the inhabited portions of New England, which Jefferys first published in 1755. The patents and townships established under the English colonies combine in the fulfillment of Smith's vision: a new land divided up and settled by the English. Of key interest in this map is its picturing of the westward push of New Hampshire's townships into the upper valley of the Connecticut River. New York successfully pursued its claim to the same region in the London courts, but it lost the battle on the ground. The colonists encouraged to settle in New Hampshire's western townships proclaimed the independent republic of Vermont in 1775 (joining the Union in 1784 as the fourteenth state). Once again, a political claim to territory was undermined by settlement and the construction of new territorial conceptions configured through maps.
JOHN GREEN (neé Braddock Mead; English, ca.1688-1757)
THOMAS JEFFERYS (English, ca.1710-1771)
A MAP of the most Inhabited part of NEW ENGLAND ...
London, 1774 (sheets 1 and 2 only)