A Map of the World

map of worldNow I am officially a geek, having purchased the above antique map from 1778. I’m sorry the picture isn’t better. That’s the Pacific Ocean in the middle of the map, with North and South America off to the right. I’ve always loved old maps, which show the world as it used to be. I’m amazed at the accuracy of this one, drawn by a British cartographer when the US was embroiled in the Revolutionary War against Britain. The bottom of the map shows the voyages made by Captain Cook when he was looking for the continents which were believed to be below the equator (to balance the earth, you know, so it wouldn’t topple over.)

The map also shows the Sandwich Islands (now known as Hawaii) where Capt. Cook lost his life.

Have you ever heard of New Holland? Me neither.

Map-new HollandToday, we know this large land mass as Australia. But when this map was drawn in 1778, Holland had claimed it. The British had not yet started the migration that turned the continent into Australia.

Here’s the last section I’ll show. If you look at the right coast, you can see the United States in its infancy. It includes only the 13 original colonies alongside the Atlantic Ocean.

map coastal USOne last factoid about the map. The Brit who made the map died at the young age of 23 – in a debtor’s prison. All this careful, detailed, knowledgeable work he did, and he couldn’t get paid a living wage. Now his maps are relatively expensive. My daughter said, “Mom, that better be a freaking treasure map leading to a pot of gold!” lol Not exactly, but I love it.