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grados * -This small map, engraved in 1788 by Manuel Villavicencio at Mexico, is drawn up on the meridian of S. Blas. It must interest those who study the history of discoveries in the great ocean.
The gulf of Cortez appears very much detailed in the map of California, which accompanies the Noticia de la California del Padre Fr. Miguel Venegas, 1757; but the true position of the missions actually existing in this peninsula is indicated in the map subjoined to the life of the Father Fray Junipero Serra, printed at Mexico in 1787.
Carte manuscrite de la province de la Nouvelle Biscayet, from the 23° to the 37° of latitude, drawn up in 1792 by the engineer Don Juan de Pagaza Urtundua, from information obtained at Chihuahua. This curious work was executed by order of M. de Nava, captain-general of the provincias internas. It served me for the whole intendancy of Durango ; though the environs of the town of Durango do not appear very accurate.
Carte manuscrite des frontieres septentrionales
* Geographical map of the western coast of California, discovered in 1769 and 1775, by Don Francisco de Bodaga y Quadra and Don Jose Canizares, from the 17° to the 58o. Trans.
+ Manuscript map of the province of New Biscay. Trans.
de la nouvelle Espagne*, from the 23° to the 37° of latitude, by the engineer Don Nicolas Lafora. It develops the plan of defence of the Marquis de Rubi, and served me for verifying the situation of the small forts named Presidios. I saw a copy of this same map, three metrest in length, in the archives of the viceroyalty.
Mapa del Nuevo Merico I, from the 29° to the 49° of latitude. This manuscript map is very minute with regard to the countries situated under the parallel of 41°. It contains details as to the lake des Timpanogos, and the sources of the Rio Colca rado and the Rio del Norte.
Carte du nouveau Nlerique, gravée en 1795, par Lopezl. I have made no use of it. It appears exceedingly defective as to the sources of the Rio del Norte. The countries situated between these sources and those of the Missoury are better detailed in a Mlap of Louisiana published at Philadelphia in 1803.
I flatter myself that, notwithstanding great imperfections, my general map of New Spain has two essential advantages over all those which have hitherto appeared. It exhibits the situation of three
* Manuscript map of the northern frontiers of New Spain. Trans. † Nine feet ten inches English. Trans,
Map of New Mexico. Trans. || Map of New Mexico, engraved in 1795 by Lopez, Trans.
hundred and twelve mines, and the new division of the country into intendancies: those mines which have been worked are there indicated from a catalogue which the supreme tribunal of mines caused to be drawn upon the spots, through the whole ex. tent of that vast empire. I have distinguished by particular signs the places which are the seats of the Deputaciones de Minas, and the sites of the mines which depend on them. The catalogue with which I was furnished very often marked the rhomb and the distance from some more considerable town. These notes I combined with what I found in the old manuscript maps, among which those of Velasquez were of the greatest assistance to me. This labour was equally minute and troublesome. When any map did not bear the name of the mine, I placed it simply according to the situation in the catalogue, reducing the itinerary distances or leagues of the country into absolute distances, from combinations furnished by analogous cases. The population of New Spain being concentrated on the great interior plain of the central chain, it follows that the map of Mexico is covered very un. equally with names. It must not however be
supposed that there are districts entirely uninhabited, wherever the map indicates neither village nor hamlet. I wished only to enter places whose position was the same in several manuscript maps from which I laboured; for the most part of the American maps, executed in Europe, are filled with
names whose existence is unknown in the country itself. These errors are perpetuated, and it often becomes extremely difficult to conjecture their origin. I chose rather to leave a vacant space in my map than to draw from suspicious sources.
The indication of the chains of mountains presented difficulties which can only be felt by those who have been themselves employed in constructing geographical maps. I preferred hatchings (hachures) in orthographical projection, to the method of representing mountains in profile. This last, the oldest and most imperfect of all, occasions a mixture of two sorts of very heterogeneous projections. Yet I will not dissemble that this inconvenience is almost balanced by a real advantage. The old method furnishes signs which announce vaguely “ that te country is hilly, that there exits mountain; in such or such a province.” The more this hieroglyphical language is vague the less it exposes to erior. The method of batching, on the contrary, forces the drawer to say more than he knows, more than it is even possible to know of the geological constitution of a vast extent of territory. To look at the last maps
of Asia Minor and Persia, one would believe that learned geologists have ascertained the relative height, the limits, and direction of the mountains. We discover there chains which wind and branch out like rivers ; we are tempted to believe that the Alps and Pyrenees are less known than these
distant countries. However, well informed peo, ple who have gone through Persia and Asia Minor assert, that the grouping of the mountains there differs entirely from the form in which they appear in the large map of Asia, published by Arrowsinith, so often copied both in France and
The waters undoubtedly in some sort give the delineation of ihe country; but the courses of rivers merely indicar? the difference of level which exists in the extent of territory through which they
A knowledge of the great vallies or of the basins; an examination of the points where rivers take their rise, are certainly extremely intere ting to a hydrographical engineer; but it is a false application of the principles of hydrograp'iy, when geographers attempt to determine the chains of mountains in countries of which they suppose they know the course of the rivers. They suppose that two great basins of water can only be separated by great elevations, or that a considerable river can only change its direction when a group of mountains opposes its course. They forget that frequently, either on account of the nature of the rocks, or on account of ihe inclination of the strata, the most elevated levels give rise to no river, while the sources of the most considerable rivers are distant from the high chains of mountains. Hence the attempts which have been hitherto made to construct physical maps from