Passage par terre a la Californie decouverte par le R.P. Eusebe- François Kino, Jesuite depuis 1698 jusqu’a 1701 ou l’on voit encore les Nouvelles Missions des PP. de la Compag.e de Jesus

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This map records a historic event that took place a few years before it was published. The background is that once upon a time, the very earliest mapmakers described California as part of the North American continent, part of the mainland. And then in 1625, a mapmaker by the name of Briggs[1] decided that it was really an island[2], and he was so famous that succeeding mapmakers followed his example and described California on their maps also as an island. It wasn’t until Father Kino[3] decided to try out how you got to this so-called “island” and he began walking west and he continued walking west, and he continued walking west, until he got to the Pacific Ocean without having gotten his feet wet in the meantime. All of a sudden, people realized that the island notion was a mistake the whole time and California was, in fact, part of the North American mainland. Of course some people think that there may come a day with earthquake activity that California might someday, again, be seen as an island. We will see!

[1] “Henry Briggs (bap. 1561-1631) was an English mathematician. He is best known for his pioneering work on logarithms and his 1625 map depicting California as an island, the first English map to do so.” Accessed 16 Mar. 2021.
[2] “In 1622 [Briggs] published a small tract on the Northwest Passage to the South Seas, through the Continent of Virginia and Hudson Bay. The tract is notorious today as the origin of the cartographic myth of the Island of California. In it Briggs stated he had seen a map that had been brought from Holland that showed the Island of California.” Accessed 16 Mar. 2021.
[3] “Eusebio Francisco Kino (10 August 1645 – 15 March 1711), often referred to as Father Kino, was a Tyrolean Jesuit, missionary, geographer, explorer, cartographer and astronomer born in the Territory of the Bishopric of Trent, then part of the Holy Roman Empire.” Accessed 16 Mar. 2021.



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