‘Americae Pars Quarta’
This introduces the fourth part of ‘Americae’ based on the text from Girolamo Benzoni’s ‘La Historia del Mondo Nuovo’ (ref. 3). In particular, it deals with the voyages of Columbus whose three ships are shown below, sailing to America in 1492. The Indians he encountered in the West Indies, along with the flora of the New World, decoratively surround the title panel.
Title Page (30.1×21.1) to Part IV(g), first published in 1594 with German or Latin text: $175view print
 Map: ‘Descripçion de las Indias del Norte’
Although the coastal contours are crude and the nomenclature minimal, the overall configuration of this outline map is good, bearing in mind it was probably originally drawn about 1570. Baja California has a curious ‘hook’ shape and the peninsular of Florida is too narrow but Yucatan, the Isthmus and the West Indies are well defined, even the latitudes are fairly accurate. Only a few of the Audiencias are marked, along with the more important place-names.
Map 2 (15.9×28.8), from Part XII(g), first published in 1623 with German text and 1624 with Latin text: N/Aview print
 Map: ‘Descriptio del Destricto del Audiencia de la Española: 3’
Originally drawn about 1570, by Juan López de Velasco (ref. 59), this map marks the location of the Spanish Audiencias at that time on the islands of Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola and Puerto Rico. At the top right, twenty of these Audiencias are named. There are also several other place-names, not commonly found on other maps, particularly along the coasts of Venezuela and around the Florida peninsular.
Map 3 (19.5×21.5), from Part XII(g), first published in 1623 with German text and 1624 with Latin text: N/Aview print
 Columbus reaches the West Indies
This shows symbolically Columbus’s ship being guided through the shallow waters by Diana towards the islands of Cuba, Hispañola and Jamaica. Also shown are Sirens, Neptune on a horse drawn chariot, along with various hybrids and other sea monsters, symbolising the dangers of the sea. (This engraving is derived from one published nine years earlier by Stradanus (ref. 56.)
Plate 6 (14.4×19.4), from Part IV(g), first published in 1594 with German or Latin text: $350view print
 Columbus lands on the island of San Salvador
On 12th October 1492 in the early dawn, after 33 days at sea, Columbus sighted land. His three ships made their way round the south-west point of an island Columbus named San Salvador, believed today to be Watlings Island in the Bahamas. According to Benzoni (ref. 3), they cut down a tree on the western shore, made a cross and erected it in the name of Christianity. The native Arawaks, who called their island ‘Guanahaní’, fled in terror but later returned with gifts of friendship but not the fabulous ornaments suggested here. They were believed to have worn small gold pendants, which they said had come from another island to the south-west.
Plate 9 (16.4×19.5), from Part IV(g), first published in 1594 with German or Latin text: $350 view print
 Columbus punishes the seditious Spanish
When, in ill health, Columbus returned to Hispaniola on 29th September 1494, he found the island in utter disorder and had some of the seditious Spanish hanged. This caused further unrest and a Benedictine monk denied Columbus the sacrament. Columbus then cut off food supplies to the abbey, whereupon the monks began to write many dreadful things about him and his brother, Bartholomew, whom Columbus had made governor of the island. Two years later, when the king of Spain heard about these troubles, he summoned Columbus to return to Spain for a hearing at the royal court.
Plate 10 (16.0×19.7), from Part IV(g), first published in 1594 with German or Latin text: $150view print
 Columbus and his brother are arrested
The newly appointed governor of Hispaniola arrived on 23rd August 1500 and immediately had Columbus’s youngest brother, Diego, arrested. Later when Columbus and his other brother, Bartholomew, turned up they were put in chains and eventually sent back to Spain. Columbus disembarked still in chains, refusing to be released. This caused the monarchy such embarrassment that they were only able to correct the misunderstanding by subsequently bestowing honours upon him.
Plate 13 (16.0×19.5), from Part IV(g), first published in 1594 with German or Latin text: $150 view print
 Mutiny in Jamaica
On 29th May 1504, Columbus entered St. Ann’s Bay, Jamaica, but the Porras brothers and a number of Spanish soldiers on the island prevented him from coming ashore and tried unsuccessfully to board his ship, using a number of Indian boats. When the attack failed Columbus and his brother were eventually able to land their men and fierce hand-to-hand fighting ensued, leading eventually to Francisco de Porras being arrested.
Plate 14 (15.8×19.4), from Part IV(g), first published in 1594 with German or Latin text: $175 view print
 Vespucci lands on the island of Giants
When, in 1499-1500, Antonio de Ojeda and his crew including Vespucci, landed on an island known today as Curaçao, they saw giant footprints in the sand. Following these for about a mile, they came across a small hamlet where they met two tall women and some girls who invited them into their dwelling for food. As the Spanish were trying to force the girls to return to their ship with them, about three dozen naked men appeared who were even taller than the women. Empty handed, the Spanish quickly returned to their ships, pursued by the Indians who waded out into the water shooting arrows after them as they departed.
Plate 6 (14.8×17.7), from Part X(g), first published in 1618 with German text and in 1619 with Latin text: $250 view print
 Vespucci lands on the island of Itius
According to the esteemed historian, Las Casas, ‘Itius cannot be other than the islands we reach coming from Spain such as Guadeloupe and Dominica’. When Vespucci and his Spanish companions tried to land there, they encountered resistance from about four hundred Indians, who fought them off at the water’s edge. There were both men and women and their naked bodies were decorated with war-paint. They had bows and arrows and threw stones at the intruders. There was fierce fighting and many Indians were killed, until after two days, the Indians finally retreated to the forest, so that Vespucci and his companions could land.
Plate 5 (15.3×17.5), from Part X(g), first published in 1618 with German text and in 1619 with Latin text: $250 view print
 Map: ‘Descripcion de las Yndias Ocidentalis’
This map, originally drawn in manuscript about 1570 by Juan López de Velasco (ref. 59), was designed to show the demarcation lines, settled by the Treaty of Tordesillas in 1494, in which Spain had been allocated all the lands between the ‘Meridiano de la Demarcacion por la Partie Oriental’ and ‘ … Partie Oscidental’. According to this map they would have claim to all lands from China, eastwards to include most of the Americas.
Map 1 (17.3×30.0), from Part XII(g), first published in 1623 with German text, and in 1624 with Latin text. It also appeared in Part XIV(g) in 1630 with German text and in Part XIII(g) in 1634 with Latin text: N/Aview print
 Map: ‘Occidentalis Americae Partis …’
This very decorative map of the West Indies, compressed between Florida and Tierra Firme, has no known source data. Although Benzoni’s name appears in the title cartouche and the map was issued with the first part of his illustrated travels, he was not a cartographer and was, therefore, unlikely to have contributed in any way to its execution. Apart from the Florida peninsular, whose distinctive configuration clearly resembles the Florida map in Part II(g), its depiction of over-rotund West Indian islands, is almost unique. ‘Borichén’ is the old name used for Puerto Rico, ‘Cubagua’ (see: ), which in reality is much smaller and located further west, is here shown where Trinidad should be, and ‘Y de S. Bo’, for Sancto Bernardo, looks more like Trinidad, yet is too far west. The seas are decorated with Columbus’s ships and the Cross of Christianity is shown on ‘Gunahaní’ (see: ), believed to be Watlings Island, is misplaced about 1,000 miles to the south-east, on or near the island of Barbuda. To add to the confusion, ‘Guanahaní’, which could also be ‘Guanahaní’ is more or less correctly placed in the Bahamas, and ‘Lucaya’ and ‘Bahama’, which are probably Grand Bahama and Great Abaco, are too far to the north-east where Bermuda should be.
Map (33.0×44.0), from Part IV(g), first published in 1594, with German or Latin text: N/A view print
 Spanish immortality is tested on Puerto Rico
An Indian cacique of Boriquén, which is the old name for San Juan de Puerto Rico, decided to test the apparent invincibility of the Spaniards. While the Indians were helping a Spanish dignitary carry his luggage across a river, they seized and held him under the water to see if he could survive drowning. His death was said to have dissolved the myth of Spanish invincibility and inspired a revolt among the Indians, which was eventually quelled by Diego Salazar.
Plate 5 (16.2×19.9), from Part IV(g), first published in 1594, with German or Latin text: $275 view print
 A terrifying storm hits Hispaniola
In June 1495, a violent hurricane rushed in from the sea and people thought the end of the world had come. It became so dark that they failed to recognise one another, trees were uprooted, rocks scattered, houses flattened and people killed, even the ships in the harbour were tossed about and sunk with all hands aboard.
Plate 11 (16.0×20.0), from Part IV(g), first published in 1594, with German or Latin text: $100 view print
 A religious ritual on Hispaniola
On certain feast-days the Indian cacique, by beating a drum, led a procession of his people to the worship of their idol, which was a strange hybrid-like creature with several heads. The men came first, dressed in parrot feathers and necklaces of seashells were painted black, red and yellow. The women, decorated with jewellery, followed with their naked daughters. When all were assembled, the cacique inserted a stake into his throat and made himself vomit, to rid himself of secrets. While the men sat cross-legged and chanted, the women brought baskets of bread and roses in adoration of their idol.
Plate 24 (16.5×20.2), from Part IV(g), first published in 1594, with German or Latin text: $100view print
 Indians catch whales in the West Indies
It was reported that the Indians paddled out to sea in their canoes to catch whales. If they got close enough they would climb onto the creature’s back and hammer two wooden pegs into its nostrils, through which it breathed and sprayed water. Ropes were tied to these pegs, with which they would haul the creature onto dry land when it was unable to breathe any more. When the Indians fished with nets, they would paddle out, astride bundles of papyrus reeds. When they returned to shore they would leave their craft out to dry in the sun. This description is based on reported hearsay, from J de Acosta’s account (ref. 1).
Plate 1 (14.3×18.1), from Part IX(g), first published in 1601, with German text or 1602 with Latin text: $225 view print
 Indian suicides under Spanish rule
Seeing no end to slavery under Spanish rule, many of the indigenous peoples gave up the struggle to live. The Indian men went into the woods to kill their children and hang themselves and, after taking certain natural poisons, the womenfolk followed their husbands with the noose. Others threw themselves down mountains or jumped into the sea. Some even were said to have died of self-imposed starvation, or to have stabbed themselves to death with stone knives.
Plate 23 (16.4×20.0), from Part IV(g), first published in 1594, with German or Latin text: $100 view print
 Black slaves mining gold
Many of the local Indians on Hispaniola refused to work for the Spanish any more, choosing suicide instead. In consequence many Black slaves were bought from the Portuguese to work the gold and silver mines. Here they are seen digging into the mountainsides and pouring the ore before the Spanish for inspection.
Plate 1 (16.0×19.5), from Part V(g), first published in 1595, with German or Latin text: $150 view print
 Treatment of the Black slaves
The Blacks were punished for the slightest reason. Those that returned from the mines without sufficient gold or silver ore were stripped and flogged. To heal the wounds they would pour boiling oil or pitch on them and cure them with peppers or salts. Others were buried up to their necks. Their lives were considered to be cheap as they could easily be replaced by more slaves.
Plate 3 (15.9×19.6), from Part V(g), first published in 1595, with German or Latin text: $150 view print
 Black slaves work the sugar plantations
After the veins of precious ore became depleted on Hispaniola, the Spanish set the Blacks to work on the sugar plantations. This soon became a profitable venture because the plants grew quickly and with minimum attention. The work involved cutting the plant, stripping off the leaves and crushing the cane to extract the juice. Then it was boiled in bronze cauldrons to form concentrated syrup. This was then poured into large earthenware pots for transportation.
Plate 2 (15.8×19.5), from Part V(g), first published in 1595, with German or Latin text: $250 view print
 Black slaves escape punishment
Many Black slaves escaped from Spanish captivity and freely wandered the island, breaking into prisons and recruiting other slaves. Soon they outnumbered the Spanish and sought revenge on them. After a meeting at the governor’s palace in Santo Domingo, many soldiers were sent out to quell the rebellion by catching the Blacks by night and hanging them. The Blacks learnt from this to keep a lookout all night and as a result became much more difficult to catch.
Plate 4 (15.6×19.1), from Part V(g), first published in 1595, with German or Latin text: $150 view print
 The Spanish capture a French Ship
When two French privateer ships were sighted off Santo Domingo, the entire Spanish fleet set sail and gave chase. Eventually one of the French ships was captured and burnt at sea, while its crew were taken prisoner and paraded through the streets of the city to such cheering you would have thought the whole of France had been conquered.
Plate 5 (15.4×18.4), from Part V(g), first published in 1595, with German or Latin text: $100 view print
 The French defeat the Spanish at Havana
In 1536 a French ship entered the harbour of Havana and forced the Spanish to pay 700 ducats to prevent the town from being burnt to the ground. As the invaders departed, the Spanish gave chase in some cargo ships. This resulted in further conflict at sea, with many of the Spanish having to abandoning their ships for rowing boats or by jumping overboard and swimming ashore. The French then took possession of their ships, returned to Havana and subsequently forced the Spanish to pay another ransom.
Plate 6 (16.0×19.5), from Part V(g), first published in 1595, with German or Latin text: $100 view print
 Chorera in Cuba is burnt by the French
When the town of Chorera was ransacked by the French, they were unable to find any loot so they captured some of the Spanish and held them for ransom. Instead the Spanish launched a counter attack but when this failed the French set fire to the town and escaped with whatever valuables they could find. While burning the church, some of the French declared ‘men who have no faith shall have no temple’.
Plate 7 (15.4×18.8), from Part V(g), first published in 1595, with German or Latin text: $100view print
 Francis Drake attacks the town of Santo Domingo
The town of Santo Domingo on Hispaniola was once the capital of Spanish America, but in 1586 when Drake arrived it had deteriorated somewhat in stature. Because it was till the largest settlement in the West Indies, Drake chose it as his first target. He landed 10 miles west of the town and, with an army of 800 men under the command of Commander Carleill, attacked the weakly defended town from the rear where it was almost without fortifications. The English quickly took over control of the town and ransomed it for 25,000 ducats.
Plate 7 (15.4×21.1), from Part VIII(g), first published in 1599 with Latin text, and as Ad. Plate 7, and in 1600 with German text: $350 view print
 Sir Walter Ralegh in Trinidad
Because Ralegh was courteous to the Spanish when he first arrived in Trinidad, he was made welcome. By so doing, however, he was able to learn much about the strength of the Spanish forces and the geography of the island. Then one night, with about a hundred men, he attacked the Spanish town of San José (now St. Joseph, east of Port of Spain) and took their governor captive aboard his ship.
Plate 1 (13.5×17.6), from Part VIII(g), first published in 1599 with German text or Plate 13 with Latin text: $175view print
 The capture of the Spanish Silver Fleet
During their voyage with about thirteen ships to the West Indies in 1626-8, the Dutch managed to capture the entire Spanish Silver Fleet while they were moored in Matanzas harbour in Cuba. Above the nautical scene are the medallion portraits of General Heyn, who commanded the Dutch troops and Admiral Lonq, who was in charge of the Dutch fleet. Below is an inset map of the islands of Cuba and Jamaica, with south to the top, showing the location of the fleets at the time of the capture. There is also a key for identifying the names of the various ships. The scene derives from Casper En’s engraving, Köln, 1628, which was published by Hulsius in 1629, then by the de Brys’ the following year.
Page 58/9 (18.4×39.4), from Part XIV(g), first published in 1630 with German text, and Page 136/7 from Part XIII(g) with Latin text: N/Aview print
 The Dutch land at Matanzas Bay
The illustration shown General Heyn and Admiral Lonq coming ashore in rowing boats from their fleet moored off the Cuban coast at Matanzas. They had just captured the powerful Silver Fleet of the Spanish. Perhaps no Dutch naval achievement caused so great a sensation throughout the Netherlands, it established their nation as a respected and feared sea power throughout the Americas.
Page 64 (15.1×17.5), from Part XIV(g), first published in 1630 with German text, and on Page 140 in Part XIII(g) with Latin text in 1634: $250 view print
 The English are attacked on Santa Lucia
During Oliver Leagh’s voyage to Guiana in 1605, Captain St. John went ashore with a number of the crew. There they built a settlement by the sea and for some weeks traded peacefully with the local Caribs. Then they were suddenly attacked with bows and arrows and a fierce battle ensued which lasted several days. Many of the English died but those who survived did so by escaping by night in canoes to their moored sailing ship. From Santa Lucia they sailed south-west and eventually made landfall on the Venezuelan coast between La Guaira and Coro.
Page 69 (14.8×17.4), from Part XIII(g), first published in 1627 with German text, and on Page 46 in 1634 with Latin text: $250view print
 Map: ‘America Noviter Delineata’
The source of this map is often thought to be 1631 map by Hondius, with the same title, yet this, almost identical, map first appeared in print the previous year, with differences mainly in the decorations and cartouche. It gives a good indication of the extent of geographical knowledge at the time, which generally was confined to the coastal regions and rivers. It has detailed inset of the South Pole: ‘Terra Australis Incognita’ and the North Pole: ‘Borealiores Americæ …’ and the sea areas are embellished with sailing ships and sea monsters.
Map 1 (35.3×44.3), from Part XIV(g), first published in 1630 with German text and Part XIII(g) in 1634 with Latin text: $1,750