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1671 Ogilby View of Acapulco, Mexico

Portus Acapulco. - Main View

1671 Ogilby View of Acapulco, Mexico


Beautiful bird's eye-view of Acapulco Mexico.



Portus Acapulco.
  1671 (undated)     12 x 14.5 in (30.48 x 36.83 cm)


A rare 1671 view of the port of Acapulco, Mexico, by Englishman John Ogilby. This impressive view embraces the heart of colonial Acapulco, showing the Fort of San Diego and the surrounding port community. In the foreground mounted Spaniards lead indigenous Mexicans bearing goods to ships for loading. When this map was issued Acapulco, although still relatively small population size, was one of the most important ports in the world. All routes westward across the Pacific from America started in Acapulco. Through this port, the Manila Galleon trade transported most of the wealth mined in the New World to the eager markets of Asia. Because of the difficulty of sailing around Cape Horn, and the lack a Northwest Passage, the Manila Galleon trade out of Acapulco earned the Pacific the moniker, the 'Spanish Pond.' It was not unitl Anson captured the Nuestra Señora de Covadonga in 1743, not far from Acapulco, that the Spanish monopoly on the Pacific trade was broken.

In modern terms the view looks down on Acapulco from hills to the northeast. Acapulco Bay appears to the right, and to the left, Puerto Marques Bay. The high ground in between the two forts is the modern day resort area known as Las Brisas. To the far left a second promontory is apparent. This area, Cabo Marques and Puna Diamante, is the site of spacious villas and summer homes of the Mexican elite.

This view was published in the 1671 edition of John Ogilby's America, one of the most influential books of the 17th century.


John Ogilby (November 17, 1600 - 1676) was a Scottish translator and cartographer. John Ogilby's life seems to be one of extremes, teetering between wealth and poverty, success and failure. Ogilby was born near Edinburgh, Scotland, into a once wealthy family laid low by extreme debt. Struggling with poverty at every turn, Ogilby involved himself in various businesses ranging from dancing master, to actor, to tutor. In 1612, at age 12, Ogilby won a lottery run to advance the colonial interests of Virginia. His winning were sufficient to pay of many of his father's debts and apprentice himself to a dancing master. Ogilby proved a natural and graceful dancer and even made extra money tutoring his fellow apprentices. Starcrossed as he was, Olgiby's dancing career ended when a misstep when a misstep at a masked ball injured his leg and left him lame for live. Afterwards he managed to leverage his contacts in the dance world to secure a position as a dance instructor to the daughters of Sir Ralph Hopton. Hopton struck an immediate friendship with Olgiby and trained him in Military Science. Later Ogilby relocated to Ireland where he worked an as actor and later as Master of Revels. The Irish Rebellion of 1641 again dashed Ogilby's fortunes and forced him to flee Dublin by ship. On the way, the ship sunk but the survivors were rescued and eventually made their way to England, which was then under the strict rule of Oliver Cromwell. Ogilby took refuge at Cambridge where he mastered Greek and Latin. Following the Restoration of Charles II, Ogilby invested in his first major literary venture, a translation of Virgil into English. This work earned him the patronage of Charles II, despite the ridicule of prominent poets Dryden and Pope. Under Royal patronage Ogilby published several volumes relating to the Restoration. In short order he has established a successful London publisher based out of the Whitefriars district. This, unfortunately turned out to be a fateful choice of location as in 1666 the Great Fire of London tore through this are destroying Ogilby's publishing stock, home, and business. Once again Ogilby exhibited a remarkable phoenix-like ability to literally rise from the ashes. Shortly after the Great Fire, he began his most important ventures as a publisher of geographical works. In order to recover from the fire, Ogilby and his grandson were took positions as surveyors commissioned to create a large property map of London. The resultant map of London, "London Survey'd", was published in 1677 and earned Ogilby the honorific "Kings Cosmographer and Geographic Printer". His most famous works are his 1675 Road Atlas of England, Britannia which redefined road mapping, and his 1671 Atlas of the Americas. Learn More...


Ogilby, J., America, (London) 1671.    


Very good. Some edge soiling and repairs. Old dealer price in pencil, upper right border. A couple of minor repairs to margins.


OCLC 316608897.