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Chart of the Essequibo River


Chart of the Essequibo River

Anoniem / Anonymous

Title Leupe: Kaart van de Monden der rivieren Essequebo en Demerary.

This anonymous early eighteenth century nautical chart shows how dangerous access to the colony of Essequibo was. The lower reaches of the Essequibo and the Demerara converge to form one big estuary which ships heading for Essequibo could only traverse by first sailing towards the Demerara before then following the channel between the Leguan Bank, in the direction of Leguan Island, and the notorious Suiker Bank. The three orientation points given by barrels and beacons (small red symbols) are: the eastern extremity of the Demerara estuary, the eastern end of the Essequibo estuary and the furthest point of Leguan Island. The difficult navigation route protected the colony against attacks launched from sea but hampered trading. In comparison to the Essequibo, the process of sailing into the Demerara and even into the much narrower Pomeroon River was relatively straightforward, which is one of the reasons why the settlements on those rivers saw a more rapid growth later on in the eighteenth century.

North is below.

Scale-bar of 15 German Miles of 15 in a degree = [approximately 1 : 516,000].

Please contact Nationaal Archief for reuse and copyrights.

Sources and literature

Heijer, H. den, Grote Atlas van de West-Indische Compagnie = Comprehensive Atlas of the Dutch West India Company, II, de nieuwe WIC 1674-1791 = the new WIC 1674-1791 (2012)