TWO ENGLISH MAPS OF CENTRAL AMERICA ON ONE SHEET
HACKE WILLIAM [MORDEN, ROBERT]
A Draft of the Golden and Adjacent Islands... [and] A New Map of ye Isthmus of Darien in America.
23 1/4” x 19 1/4”. Two maps on one sheet. Original color. Excellent condition.
Second edition. Engraved by Herman Moll and originally published by Robert Morden in 1699, William Hacke’s map is one of the few to show the short-lived Scottish settlement of New Edinburgh along the Isthmus of Darien in Central America. Kapp notes “another edition, 1710 is similar but has the coat of arms and the names of Moll, Morden, and Hacke removed.” The map has been re-dedicated to John Haldane of Gleneagles. Armitage writes, “these maps conveyed up-to-the-minute, eye-witness news about the site of the new Scottish colony at Darien, as gathered by one Capt. Jenefer. In the map on the top, one can see Scottish flags planted on Golden Island and at New Edinburgh. The bottom map emphasizes the strategic advantages of the Darien location.” He goes on to note that “the Scottish attempt to plant a colony and trading point on the isthmus of Panama in 1698-1700 marked a pivotal moment in the relationship between Scotland and the Americas.” The strategic importance of the Isthmus of Panama had been evident since the sixteenth century, but Scotsman William Paterson seems to have been the first to propose an entrepot on the site through which goods could be exchanged between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Twelve hundred Scots landed on the isthmus in October 1698 with substantial economic backing to found the city of New Edinburgh as a trading colony, but a quarter of them died in the first seven months alone due to disease and starvation. The remaining nine hundred quickly abandoned the settlement, but few of those made it home, most having to stop their ships in Jamaica and New York with heavy casualties. The second mission from Scotland arrived in 1699 only to find a collapsed and deserted settlement. William Hacke was a prestigious London chartmaker of the Thames School who was commissioned in 1682 to prepare a presentation copy of the Waggoner of the South Sea, a Spanish derrotero of the Pacific Coast of the Americas taken from a captured Spanish ship, for King Charles II. While other members of the Thames School printed their charts for wide distribution to working mariners, Hacke specialized in providing ornate and luxurious manuscript atlases to England’s elite. Most of his works were too lavish for use at sea.
Kapp, Panama #27; David Armitage, Scotland and the Americas, pp. 3-14; The History of Cartography Newsletter, summer issue, 2006.
Inventory No. 7112