An extremely attractive 1745 map of the Mexican harbor of Zihuatanejo by George Anson. Details the harbor beautifully showing mountains, waterways, and trees as well as offering detailed depth soundings and nautical references. Zihuatanejo is a stunningly beautiful resort area in Guerrero, Mexico, about 250 km north of Acapulco. This area was originally named Cihuatlán in Aztec, which means 'Place of Women,' referring to the matriarchal society that dominated the region in pre-Columbian times. This map was drawn by the British Admiral George Anson just before his historic capture of the Spanish treasure galleon Nuestra Senora de Covadonga. During Anson's circumnavigation of the globe he and his crew, charmed by the beautiful beaches and tropical climate, wintered and resupplied in Zihuatanejo before daring the Pacific and making history. Local legends claim that Anson plated the region's first coconut groves. It is further said that some of Anson's crew mutinied; burning several ships, and married locally, settling in Zihuatanejo while Anson and remaining crew sailed westward. The unusual Zihuatanejo family name 'Verboonen' is said to derive from one of these unions. Though Anson makes no official record of mutinies at Zihuatanejo, he did lose some six hundred men and several ships – could some of them be here? Prepared as plate number XXXI for inclusion in the 1745 english language issue of Anson's Voyage round the world…
Baron George Anson (23 April 1697 - 6 June 1762) was a British commodore and a wealthy noble. Following Anson's aristocratic upbringing on the family estate of Shugborough in Sataffordshire, he joined the British Navy. Anson went through a series of rapid promotions and, in 1737, was given command of a fleet of six ships charged with the mission of attacking Spanish possessions in South America. This mission was ill-equipped and unprepared for the trials ahead. Storms and navigational errors took a heavy toll on the expedition. By the time Anson reached the island of Juan Fernandez his fleet had been diminished to only three ships and his crew reduced to roughly 1/3 of its original strength. Nonetheless, Anson's persistence eventually led to the capture of an immensely rich price, the Spanish treasure galleon Nuestra Senora de Covadonga. The galleon, taken off of Cape Espiritu Santo in 1743 was loaded with silver bullion and, more importantly, charts and maps detailing the routes between Mexico and the Far East used by the Spanish for over 200 years. Knowledge of this route enabled the British navy to disrupt Spanish trade in the Pacific and thus weaken its stranglehold on the Americas. Upon his return to England Anson was hailed as a national hero and made immensely wealthy by his share of the Nuestra's treasure. Anson retired from the Navy for a career in politics and was a Member of Parliament from 1744 to 1747. Anson subsequently continued his naval career with distinction as an administrator, becoming First Lord of the Admiralty (1757-1762). Seven British warships have borne the name HMS Anson in his honor. Anson County, North Carolina, and Ansonborough in Charleston, South Carolina, are also named in Anson's honor. More by this mapmaker...
Anson, G., Atlas to Anson's Voyage round the world. (1745)
Very good condition. Minor creasing. Original fold lines. Blank on verso. Platemark visible.
National Library of Australia, MAP NK 3382/31. Stanford University, Rare Books Division, Wat 1192.