One of the things that your eye is immediately drawn to is the print material in the upper-left hand corner which features the Indian Chief Powhatan sitting in a longhouse along with the leaders of his tribe with a smoking fire before him. Now Powhatan, as most people have heard, is associated with a daughter by the name of Pocahontas, and the legend has it that Pocahontas, Powhatan’s daughter, met and had an amorous relationship with one of the earlier explorers, Captain John Smith – no relation to me, by the way! In any event Powhatan took a shine to Captain Smith, not necessarily on behalf of his daughter but perhaps because his tribe was being pressed on all sides by other Indian rivals and the speculation is that he may have seen the English Captain John Smith, as potential allies in a conflict.
The map itself is actually based on a map that John Smith, the original, in 1612 drew of this same area, the Chesapeake Bay area. When you look at the map, you’ll realize that north is essentially to the right, west is where we would normally think “north” to be, and east is at the bottom of the frame. Captain John Smith’s map was largely laid out the same way. It was then emulated by still another mapmaker, Jodocus Hondius, in 1618, and, ultimately, Willem Blaeu created this masterpiece, one of the great maps of America’s Mid-Atlantic in the 1600s.
For more details, view the catalog record: https://library.villanova.edu/Find/Record/1935518