American Treasures of the Library of Congress: Memory, Exhibit Object Focus

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Map of Manhattan

Manatus gelegen op de Noot Rivier, 1639
Johannes Vingboons
Manatus gelegen op de Noot Rivier, 1639
Manuscript map on vellum in pen
and ink and watercolor wash)
Geography & Map Division

This 1639 map is the earliest portrayal of Manhattan and its environs. The map may have been drawn by Johannes Vingboons, cartographer to the Prince of Nassau for the West India Company of Holland. This map, possibly done to encourage Dutch settlement, depicts plantations and small farms. These widely dispersed settlements are keyed by number in the lower right-hand corner to a list of land occupants. The list of references includes a grist mill, two sawmills and "Quarters of the Blacks, the Company's Slaves." Also delineated are a few roads represented by dashed lines and four Indian villages situated in what is now Brooklyn.

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