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Nicolas Sanson
Le Nouveau Mexique, et La Floride


Audio Tour: About Sanson

Although not the first map to depict California as an island (the credit, or blame, for that persistent misconception goes to John Briggs’s map published in London in 1625), this map is probably the more influential in that it was widely studied and copied throughout Europe. This is the first map of any note to focus on Nouveau Mexique and the first map of the area to be produced on such a large scale.

New Mexican Indian tribes are identified along the R del Norte, or Rio Grande, mistakenly shown flowing southwest rather than southeast. There are new place-names on the West Coast including, particularly, the peninsula Agubela de Cato jutting to the northwest above Californie Isle. The north coast of the island of California depicted by Sanson with three “fingers,” was widely copied by other European cartographers in addition to being perpetuated by many later editions of Sanson’s own maps.