Return to Aftermath of the Encounter List Previous Section: Languages and Religion | Next Section: Documenting New Knowledge

During the centuries of Spanish exploration and colonization, “treasure fleets” made regular trips to the Americas to deliver merchandise and collect treasures and precious metals. As these cargos increased in size and value, so did the risk of capture and theft. Foreign navies, privateers (commissioned agents sent out against the enemies of states), and pirates threatened, attacked, and plundered the ships of the treasure fleets.

Pirates and Privateers

During the centuries of Spanish exploration and colonization, “treasure fleets” made regular trips to the Americas to deliver merchandise and collect treasures and precious metals. As these cargos increased in size and value, so did the risk of capture and theft. Foreign navies, privateers (commissioned agents sent out against the enemies of states), and pirates threatened, attacked, and plundered the ships of the treasure fleets.

Sailing Directions

This manuscript pilot-guide details the hazards of navigation between the island of St. Martin and the ports of Havana, San Juan, and Santo Domingo, through the Windward Passage between Hispaniola and Cuba and on to Veracruz in Mexico. A short section covers the route from Veracruz through the Straits of Florida to Cadiz in Spain. Its depictions of currents, distances, landmarks, coastal elevations, and plans of harbors were used by the Spanish treasure fleets. These pages show profiles of coastal elevations from Maisi along the north coast of Cuba and plans of Baracoa and Nipe bays.

Descripcion de las costas yslas y vajos desde Sn. Martin una de las Yslas de Barlovento hasta la Havana (Description of the coasts, islands, and lowlands from St. Martin . . . to Havana), 1777. Manuscript atlas. Pen-and-ink, watercolor, and pencil. Jay I. Kislak Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (120.00.00, 120.00.01, 120.00.02, 120.00.03)

Bookmark this item: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/exploring-the-early-americas/competition-for-empire.html#obj0

Map Depicting Treasure Fleets

Emanuel Bowen, a London engraver and print and map seller, frequently embellished his maps with nautical and historical commentary. This map of the West Indies includes notes identifying the 1492 Columbus landing site in the New World and routes of the Spanish treasure fleets, the convoys of armed galleons and merchant ships that transported European goods to the Spanish colonies in America. The treasure fleets returned with colonial products, especially gold and silver, which made Spain the richest country in Europe. The convoys sailed annually from the mid-sixteenth century to late- eighteenth century.

Emanuel Bowen (1673–1767). A New and Accurate Chart of the West Indies with the Adjacent Coasts of North and South America. Drawn from the best Authorities, assisted by the most approved modern maps & Charts. . . . By Eman. Bowen, Geographer to His Majesty. [London: ca. 1720]. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress (119.00.00)

Bookmark this item: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/exploring-the-early-americas/competition-for-empire.html#obj1

Items from a Spanish Treasure Ship

During the centuries of Spanish exploration and colonization, treasure fleets made regular trips to the Americas to deliver merchandise and collect treasures and precious metals. In late summer merchant ships would join their protectors, the war galleons, in Havana to form the treasure fleet for the return to Spain. Often, however, ships were scattered because of bad weather, poor seamanship, or piracy. In early September 1622, Nuestra Señora de Atocha, a galleon carrying tons of Spanish treasure, was wrecked on the Florida coral reefs near the Dry Tortugas, leaving only five survivors. These items were recovered from the site of the wreck.

The Items are: a Silver fork, a Spoon, a Plate, and Gold bullion.

Silver fork, spoon, plate, and gold bullion from the Nuestra Señora de Atocha wreck, 1622. Jay I. Kislak Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (118.00.01, 118.00.02, 118.00.03, 118.00.04)

Bookmark this item: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/exploring-the-early-americas/competition-for-empire.html#obj2

Florida Pirate

Decades before the Civil War, both slavery and piracy became important subjects in the United States and England. In a little more than a decade, and at a time when few texts were reprinted in multiple editions, this fictional account of an escaped slave turned pirate was released in nine editions on both sides of the Atlantic.

The Florida Pirate, or, An account of a cruise on the schooner Esparanza. New York: [William Borradaile], 1823. Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (125.00.00, 125.01.01)

Bookmark this item: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/exploring-the-early-americas/competition-for-empire.html#obj3

British Attempt to Suppress Pirates

Attacks by pirates and privateers were a major problem in the Americas between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. Privateers were licensed by a government to raid the ships of declared enemies and shared their gains with the licensor. Pirates were not loyal to any country and attacked indiscriminately for their own gain. Governments with American colonies attempted to suppress privateering and piracy, as in this broadside issued by King James II (reigned 1685–1688).

James II, King of England, Scotland, and Ireland (1633-1701, reigned 1685-1688). By the King, A Proclamation for the More Effectual Reducing and Supressing of Pirates and Privateers in America. London: Charles Bill, Henry Hills, and Thomas Newcomb, [1688]. Double-leaf broadside. Jay I. Kislak Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (123.01.00)

Bookmark this item: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/exploring-the-early-americas/competition-for-empire.html#obj4

Discover!

Buccaneers of America

This is the first edition, in Dutch, of one of the most important books about pirates ever written.  Alexandre Exquemelin, a native of Hafleur, went to the Caribbean in 1666 with the French West Indies Company. He served as surgeon for nearly ten years with various buccaneers and gives an eyewitness account of the adventures of Henry Morgan, François Lolonois, Pierre le Grand, and Bartholomew Portugues. Exquemelin’s vivid writing style narrates a story with color, drama, vitality, and authenticity.  His descriptions are filled with vivid scenes of violence in exotic locations, and this edition is enhanced with full-page engravings of the buccaneers and their exploits.

A. O. [Alexandre Olivier] Exquemelin. De Americaensche Zee-Roovers (The Buccaneers of America). Amsterdam: Jan ten Hoorn, Boeckverkoper, 1678. Jay I. Kislak Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (121.00.00, 121.00.01, 121.00.02, 121.00.03)

View the special presentation

Bookmark this item: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/exploring-the-early-americas/competition-for-empire.html#obj5

Back to Top

Spanish Florida

La Florida included the vast territory claimed by Spain on the basis of the explorations by Juan Ponce de León (1460–1521) in 1513 and 1521. Encompassing lands from the Gulf Coast of Texas to the Chesapeake Bay, Spanish Florida existed from 1565 to 1763, when Florida (by then reduced in size to today’s Florida and parts of Alabama and Georgia) came under British control. Spain regained possession of Florida from 1784 until 1821 when the territory became part of the United States.

La Florida Map

This map is the first separately printed one showing the extent of Spanish Florida, which stretched from the Chesapeake Bay to present-day New Mexico at the end of the sixteenth century. The other colonizing powers, most notably England and France, would try for centuries to wrest control of that area from Spain. French settlements took hold in the late seventeen century in Louisiana and Britain colonized Georgia and other areas close by.

Abraham Ortelius. “La Florida/Guastecan from Peruuiae avriferæ regionis typus. . . . ” Antwerp: Christophorum Plantinum, 1584. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress (110.01.00)

Bookmark this item: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/exploring-the-early-americas/competition-for-empire.html#obj7

The Spanish Concept of Florida

Secretary to the Council of Brabant (Flanders), Cornelis van Wytfliet was also much interested in geography.  His descriptionis, considered to be the first atlas devoted to the Americas, includes nineteen maps of the region.  His map designating “Florida” and “Apalache” is based on an earlier map by Jernimo de Chaves and reflects the Spanish concept of Florida as an extensive portion of southern North America rather than being merely an appendage or peninsula.

Wytfliet, Cornelis van. Descriptionis Ptolemaicae Augmentum . . . (Decsriptions of Ptolemy Increased . . . ). Lovanii Tijpis Gerardi: Riuij, 1598. Jay I. Kislak Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (110.00.00, 110.02.01, 110.02.02)

Bookmark this item: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/exploring-the-early-americas/competition-for-empire.html#obj8

The First Description of Florida Indians

Rene Goulaine de Laudonnière (ca. 1529–1574) survived and wrote this French account of the destruction of French Fort Caroline in 1565, which includes the first European images of indigenous Americans. After the Spaniards had won, they attached notes to the victims saying that they had not killed Frenchmen, but heretics. When the French had the opportunity to return the “favor,” three years later, they left notes on Spanish corpses that said, “not as Spaniards, but as assassins.”

René Goulaine de Laudonnière (c. 1529–1574). L'histoire notable de la Floride (A Noteworthy History of Florida). Paris: Guillaume Auuray, 1586. Jay I. Kislak Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (108.00.00, 108.01.01, 108.01.02)

Bookmark this item: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/exploring-the-early-americas/competition-for-empire.html#obj9

Spaniards Enslaved by Indians

This account tells how four men of the 600-member Narváez expedition to Florida—Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, two other Spaniards, and an African slave, Esteban—survived a seven-year trek on foot from Florida through Texas to Mexico City.  The four survivors arrived in Mexico in 1536, having survived hardships, privation, Indian attacks, and even enslavement.

Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca (ca. 1490–ca. 1557). Relación y comentarios del Governador Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca (Account and commentaries of Govenor Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca). [Valladolid: Francisco Fernández de Cordova, 1555]. Jay I. Kislak Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (107.01.00, 107.01.01, 107.00.01)

Bookmark this item: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/exploring-the-early-americas/competition-for-empire.html#obj10

Bilingual Catechism in Spanish and Timucuan

This catechism is the first in both Spanish and an Indian language spoken in what would become the United States. The conversion of the Indians in Florida to Christianity was essential for the early viability of the colony in St. Augustine. Without the cooperation of the hinterland Indians and the provision of food for the colonists, St. Augustine would never have survived. The Timucua, however, suffered from diseases, conscription into wars, and many demands on their labor. Ultimately, they perished.

Francisco de Pareja (d. 1628).Catecismo en Lengua Timuquana y Castellana (Catechism in the Timucuan and Spanish languages). Mexico: Juan Ruiz, 1627. Jay I. Kislak Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (104.00.00, 104.00.01, 104.00.02, 104.00.03)

Bookmark this item: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/exploring-the-early-americas/competition-for-empire.html#obj11

Founder of St. Augustine

In the age of piracy on the high seas, sailing instructions were top-secret documents protecting the security of the king’s fleet and his treasure from all-too-frequent threats from intruders.  Here, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, governor of Florida, gives Don Cristóbal de Eraso complicated and detailed instructions for sailing to Spain on the Buenaventura with his fleet, via the islands of Flores and San Miguel.  He is told not to proceed beyond a designated rendezvous without further instructions from Menéndez, “under penalty of paying with his person and his property for any injury to his Majesty or his royal treasury.”

Pedro Menéndez de Avilés (1519–1574) to Don Cristóbal de Eraso, Manuscript sailing orders, July 21, 1572. Jay I. Kislak Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (111.00.00)

Bookmark this item: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/exploring-the-early-americas/competition-for-empire.html#obj12

Discover!

Map of St. Augustine and Vicinity

This map shows how the town of St. Augustine and neighboring St. Sebastian had developed by 1595. This minutely detailed depiction includes the coastline, coastal features, and entrance to the harbor, as well as the fortress and the town, and local flora. This map is a copy of a 1595 original map original housed in the Archivo General de Indias in Seville, Spain. 

[Map of the town, fort, and entrance to the harbor of St. Augustine and vicinity, Florida, 1595]. Pen-and-ink tracing. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress (167.00.00)

Bookmark this item: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/exploring-the-early-americas/competition-for-empire.html#obj13

Back to Top

English Florida

The territory of Spanish Florida once encompassed much of what is now the southeastern United States but decreased with the arrival of English and French settlements. The British controlled Florida between 1763 and 1783, when Florida reverted to Spanish hands. On February 22, 1821, the United States and Spain concluded a treaty that gave Florida and other Spanish-held areas to the U.S.

Early Illustrations of Florida

From 1590 on, Theodor de Bry and his sons produced some of the earliest and most influential illustrations of the peoples of the New World.  His drawings for Florida were copied and continued to be reproduced through the eighteenth century.

Theodor de Bry. Brevis narratio eorum quae in Florida Americae (Brief narrative concerning Florida of America). Francfurt: Ioan[n]is Wecheli, sumtibus vero Theodori de Bry, venales reperiu[n]tur in officina S. Feirabe[n]dii, 1591. Jay I. Kislak Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (109.00.01, 109.01.00, 109.01.01)

Bookmark this item: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/exploring-the-early-americas/competition-for-empire.html#obj14

Ill-fated Roanoke Colony

For his volume on Virginia, Theodor de Bry, the famous engraver, chose drawings by Captain John White and a narrative written by Thomas Hariot. White was part of the ill-fated Roanoke colony that Sir Walter Raleigh had outfitted to claim Virginia for the English. Fortunately, White survived the colony, and De Bry’s engravings made his images known across Europe. White’s Indians, as interpreted by De Bry, are notable for their careful and studied poses.

Theodor de Bry (1528–1598). Admiranda narratio, fida tamen: de commodis et incolarum ritibus Virginiae.
Frankfurt: Ioannis Wecheli, 1590. Latin translation by Charles de L’écluse of Thomas Hariot’s Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia. Jay I. Kislak Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (113.00.00)

Bookmark this item: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/exploring-the-early-americas/competition-for-empire.html#obj15

The De Soto Expedition

This work is a primary source for information concerning the De Soto expedition (1539–1543), which began as a search for gold and resulted in a long journey that crossed the southeast region of the United States and extended perhaps as far as the present Oklahoma-Arkansas border. De Soto died on the return journey and was buried on the banks of the Mississippi River.

1 of 2

  • Garcilaso de la Vega (1539–1616). Florida del Inca. Historia adelantado Hernando de Soto, governador y capitan general de la reyno de la Florida . . . [Advanced history of Hernando de Soto, governor and captain general of Florida . . . ]. Lisbon: P. Crasbeeck, 1605. Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (106.02.00, 106.02.01)

  • “Gentlemen of Elvas.” Virginia richly valued by the description of the maine land of Florida. Translated from Portugese by Richard Hakluyt. London: Felix Kyngston for Matthew Lownes, 1609. Jay I. Kislak Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (106.00.00, 106.00.01)

Bookmark this item: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/exploring-the-early-americas/competition-for-empire.html#obj16

English Military Report about St. Augustine

Judging from its contents, this report was written by a member of the failed Oglethorpe expedition from Georgia that attempted to conquer Florida. The expedition was made in retaliation for the march to Georgia by Spanish troops in an effort to expand northward from St. Augustine the year before.

English military report on St. Augustine, with plans and views of St. Augustine Castle, the Spanish watchtower on Anastasia Island, and Matance’s fort, 1743. Jay I. Kislak Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (128.00.00, 128.00.02, 128.00.03)

Bookmark this item: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/exploring-the-early-americas/competition-for-empire.html#obj17

The Spanish Seizure of Pensacola, Florida

As governor of Spanish Louisiana from 1777 to 1783, Bernardo de Gálvez smuggled weapons to colonial fighters in the Mississippi Valley during the American Revolution. After Spain declared war on England, he defeated the British at the battles of Baton Rouge, Mobile, and Pensacola in 1781, for which he wrote this poem, dated May 12, 1781. Because of his efforts, Spain recovered Florida as part of the Treaty of Paris in 1783, which ended the American Revolution officially. Galveston, Texas, is named after him.

Bernardo de Galvez. Diario de las operaciones de la expedicion contra la Plaza de Panzacola. [Havana 1781]. Dated and signed Bernardo de Galvez, Panzacola 12 de mayo de 1781. Jay I. Kislak Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (132.00.00, 132.00.02, 132.00.03)

Bookmark this item: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/exploring-the-early-americas/competition-for-empire.html#obj18

Expedition Against St. Augustine

Governor James Oglethorpe (1696–1785) invaded Florida in 1743 with a large group of Indian allies.  They captured several forts and marched to the garrison of St. Augustine, which they captured and killed many soldiers.  However, they were not able to hold either the fort or the city itself.

James Killpatrick. An impartial account of the late expedition against St. Augustine under General Oglethorpe. . . . London: J. Huggonson, 1742. Jay I. Kislak Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (126.00.00, 126.01.00, 126.01.01)

Bookmark this item: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/exploring-the-early-americas/competition-for-empire.html#obj19

Spanish Attack on Georgia Colony

In July 1742, Spanish troops based in St. Augustine landed on the shores of Georgia in an unsuccessful attempt to conquer Governor James Oglethorpe’s new colony there.  After a long and bloody battle, the Spaniards retreated to St. Augustine and relinquished their hopes of conquering the area.

The report of the committee . . . appointed to enquire into the causes of the dissappointment [sic] of success, in the late expedition against St. Augustine, under the command of General Oglethorpe. Charlestown, South Carolina: Peter Timothy, 1742. Jay I. Kislak Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (127.00.00, 127.00.01, 127.00.02, 127.00.03)

Bookmark this item: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/exploring-the-early-americas/competition-for-empire.html#obj20

Atlas of Florida and the Caribbean

This volume was the first comprehensive British atlas of Florida and the Caribbean. It includes the first large, detailed printed maps of a number of Caribbean islands, such as Antigua, St. Christopher, and Barbados. On many of these individual maps, the topography is rendered with particular skill. The maps provide unprecedented detail documenting the sugar industry, slave life, roads, trade routes, and even individual homes and estates. The atlas exemplifies the qualities that ushered in a period of dominance for British chart-making related to the Americas.

Thomas Jefferys (d. 1771). The West India Atlas: or a Compendious Description of the West Indies: Illustrated with Forty Correct Charts and Maps Taken from Actual Surveys. Together with an Historical Account of the Several Countries and Islands which Compose that Part of the World. London: Robert Sayer and John Bennett, 1780. Jay I. Kislak Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (129.00.00)

Bookmark this item: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/exploring-the-early-americas/competition-for-empire.html#obj21

British Colonial Florida

In this letter, the British Governor of West Florida, George Johnstone, rhapsodizes about the natural wonders of the Florida coast.  As he noted on July 19, 1766, “The quantity of Fish with which our whole Coast and every Creek and River abound, is like other Blessings of Providence very little regarded because given with so very bountiful a hand.”

Letter from George Johnstone (1730–1787), Governor of West Florida, to Hutchinson Muso, July 19, 1766. Holograph manuscript. Jay I. Kislak Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (168.00.00, 168.00.01)

Bookmark this item: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/exploring-the-early-americas/competition-for-empire.html#obj22

Back to Top

The United States: An Emerging Empire

Horatio Nelson

In 1784, Captain Horatio Nelson was given command of the Boreas, a twenty-eight-gun frigate, with orders to enforce the British Navigation Act, which restricted trade in the British colonies to British ships. The act had become a major problem after the American Revolution because American vessels dominated trade between the West Indies and the former colonies. When Nelson seized four American ships that had violated the Navigation Act, the captains sued him for illegal seizure.  Nelson spent eight months sequestered on his ship, waiting for the decision of the local court.  The eventual decision was in favor of the British Navy.

Viscount Horatio Nelson (1758–1805). “An account of the proceedings of Captain Nelson of His Majesty’s ship Boreas, relative to the illegal trade carried on between the Americans and the British West India Islands.” ca. 1787. Jay I. Kislak Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (133.00.00, 133.00.01, 133.00.02, 133.00.03)

Bookmark this item: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/exploring-the-early-americas/competition-for-empire.html#obj23

French Possessions

Issued during the French and Indian War, this publication maps and describes many of the French possessions that were to become British colonies at the wars conclusion in 1763. Jefferys supplied information of major importance to the British, given their ongoing animosities with France, about the sugar industry in the Antilles and the beaver trade in North America.

Thomas Jefferys (d. 1771). The natural and civil history of the French dominions in North and South America. London: Thomas Jefferys, 1760. Jay I. Kislak Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (130.00.00, 130.00.01)

Bookmark this item: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/exploring-the-early-americas/competition-for-empire.html#obj24

Jefferson on Independence for South America

In this letter Thomas Jefferson writes to the Marquis de Lafayette expressing his hopes and misgivings about emancipation for South America.  “I join you, sincerely, my friend in wishes for the emancipation of South America.  That they will be liberated from foreign subjugation I have little doubt.  But the result of my enquiries does not authorize me to hope they are capable of maintaining a free government. . . . they may have some capable leaders yet nothing but intelligence in the people themselves can keep these faithful to their charge. . . . A republic of kings is impossible. ”

Thomas Jefferson letter to the Marquis de Lafayette. Monticello, Virginia, November 30, 1813. Jay I. Kislak Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (134.00.00, 134.00.01)

Bookmark this item: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/exploring-the-early-americas/competition-for-empire.html#obj25

George Washington Diary

Both a manuscript and a printed book, George Washington’s 1762 almanac documents the activities at his Mount Vernon plantation.  He describes mainly planting tobacco and raising cattle and sheep, although financial matters and slaves are also mentioned. Washington kept a diary from 1747, when he was a teenaged surveyor, until his death in 1799, with the notable exception of the period during most of the Revolutionary War.  With the addition of this 1762 record, the Library of Congress now holds thirty-seven of the forty-one known original Washington diaries.

George Washington, 1732-1799. Diary written in the leaves of the 1762 Virginia Almanack, 1762. Jay I. Kislak Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (135.01.00, 135.01.01, 135.01.02, 135.01.03)

Bookmark this item: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/exploring-the-early-americas/competition-for-empire.html#obj26

Andrew Jackson, Governor of the Florida Territory

Appointed the first Governor of Florida, future president Andrew Jackson (1767–1845) wrote to Georgia Governor John Clark on April 8, 1821, just six weeks after the United States Senate ratified the Adams-Onís Treaty. Jackson believed that all residents of Florida would do well under a regime of U.S. democracy and freedoms. The Seminoles disagreed and continued their raids, thus postponing statehood for the “Sunshine State” until 1845.

Letter from Andrew Jackson to Georgia Governor John Clark, April 9, 1821. Holograph manuscript. Jay I. Kislak Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress, (171.00.00, 171.00.01)

Bookmark this item: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/exploring-the-early-americas/competition-for-empire.html#obj27

Joseph Marion Hernández, Florida’s First Delegate to Congress

Joseph Marion Hernández (1793–1857) was born in St. Augustine on August 4, 1793.  Following the establishment of the U.S. territory of Florida, Hernández was elected to represent Florida in the U.S. House of Representatives from September 30, 1822, until March 3, 1823, becoming the first Hispanic-American in Congress.  He then served in the Territorial House of Representatives in Florida.  He fought for the U.S. Army as brigadier general of volunteers in the campaign against the Seminole Indians beginning in 1835.  In 1837, he led the group that captured Seminole Chief Osceola. In 1845 after Florida became a state, Hernández ran unsuccessfully for the United States Senate as a Whig.

Bookmark this item: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/exploring-the-early-americas/competition-for-empire.html#obj28

The Adams-Onís Treaty

The Adams-Onís Treaty was negotiated in response to Andrew Jackson’s incursion into Florida to stop the raids of the Seminole Indians on U.S. settlements along the border. Signed on February 22, 1819, and ratified by the United States in 1821, the treaty granted to the United States Florida and former Spanish territory west of the Sabine River, along a new boundary line north of Texas, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, and California.

Adams-Onís Treaty.  Letter from U.S. Secretary of State John Quincy Adams to Alexander H. Everett, U.S. Chargé d’Affaires at the Hague August 23, 1819. Jay I. Kislak Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (170.00.00, 170.00.01)

Bookmark this item: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/exploring-the-early-americas/competition-for-empire.html#obj29

Back to top

Sir Frances Drake’s Voyage Maps

Italian artist Baptista Boazio (fl. 1588–1606). created these handsome hand-colored engravings to accompany A Summarie and True Discourse of Sir Francis Drake’s West Indian Voyage, published in London by Biggs and Croftes in 1588–1589.  The maps are illustrated in fascinating detail with the fleet of twenty-three ships, as well as land battle plans of the English attacks on Spanish harbor forts. Animals, flags, crests, and compasses decorate the cartography. These Boazio maps are historically important not only for understanding Sir Francis Drake’s (1540?–1598) activities, but also because the four city plans represent the first printed view of each locality.

The lead “voyage map,” charting the round trip from England, is captioned in English, while the accompanying four bird’s-eye views of ports are captioned in Latin.  Drake sailed directly west from Santiago in the Cape Verde Islands off the coast of West Africa. The first port Drake reached in the West Indies was Santo Domingo in Hispaniola, present-day Haiti and Dominican Republic. This image shows the English fleet in the bay and the infantry battalions attacking the town. The view of Cartagena, situated on the South American coast of Colombia, depicts the English infantry marching on the city. The view of St. Augustine is the earliest engraving of any locality in the United States.  It shows the English fleet at anchor as its infantry troops attack the Spanish settlement.

Route of Drake's Voyage

1 of 5

Bookmark this item: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/exploring-the-early-americas/competition-for-empire.html#obj30

Back to top

Return to Aftermath of the Encounter List Previous Section: Languages and Religion | Next Section: Documenting New Knowledge