Plano de la Bahía de Movila Situado el Fuerte del mismo nombre en la latitud N. de 30º 36'' 30. y longitud de 81º 44' 00'' al O. del meridiano de Cádiz.
1809 (undated) 7.5 x 11 in (19.05 x 27.94 cm)
1 : 226750
A stunning and rare 1809 map of Mobile Bay, Alabama by the Spanish maritime cartographic agency, La Dirección Hidrográfica. Oriented to the west, this map covers all of Mobile Bay from the French city of Mobile to the entrance to the Bay and from Dauphin Island to Oyster Bay. The map identifies lights at the entrance to the Bay and provides depth soundings throughout. There is some inland detail, particularly along the river systems that drain into the Bay.
This map was published in 1809 by La Dirección Hidrográfica as part of the magnificent four part Portulano de la America Setentrional. The cartography is based upon earlier Spanish and French exploration of the Bay. This map is very rare and one of the earliest high quality scientific mappings of Mobile Bay.
The Direccion Hidrografica (1787 - 1927) was the Spanish equivalent of the British Admiralty or the U.S. Coast Survey. This organization, founded in 1787, was commissioned to produce accurate nautical charts of all waters frequented by Spanish vessels. In essence, it replaced the Casa de Contratción, which closed its doors in 1790. Like most such organizations, the Direccion Hidrografica marked a new age in cartography. Rather than compile charts created by navigators, explorers, and merchants, the Direccion Hidrografica worked closely with naval and military personnel to actually visit the sites directly in pursuit of the most accurate hydrographical, astronomical, and geodetic measurements. The Direccion Hidrografica created a massive library of nautical charts that, though not nearly as common as similar nautical charts by the U.S. Coast Survey and British Admiralty, are highly desirable for the beauty of their manufacture as well as their accuracy and detail. The office was originally located on Calle Ballesta, but relocated to 36 Alcala, both in Madrid. After 1908 the Dirección was subsumed into other governmental agencies. In 1927 the Direccion was absorbed into the Institute and Observatory of San Fernando, located in Cadiz. The library of original maps, charts, and journals was transferred to the Naval Museum of Madrid - where it resides to this day.
Portulano de la America Setentrional (Madrid: Dirección Hidrográfica), 1809.
Very good. Light foxing.