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Map of the Gambia River


Map of the Gambia River

Keulen, Johannes van

Title Leupe: Pascaerte van Rio Gambia, van Cabo Verde tot Rio de Serreliones.

This map shows part of the so-called Bovenkust; the northern part of the West-African coast which already had Dutch visitors long before the start of the WIC. As the cartographer and publisher claims his patent in the banderole, this map can be dated between 1680 and 1695, and was most probably part of his Zee-Fakkel which were printed between 1681 and 1684. The Bovenkust contains the modern states of Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. The Protuguese build a fortification on the island of Arguim, now known as Arguin, in 1448, which was destroyed by the Dutch in 1633. In Joal-Fadiout and Portudal on the mainland south of Cape Verde, a lodge of Balthasar de Moucheron from Zeeland was founded in 1596, and others merchants soon followed this example. Despite the long presence of Europeans on these coasts, the map reveals a limited understanding of the African hinterland and rivers. The estuary of the Gambia river, for instance, is too wide. In contrast, the ports and coastal towns are noted down elaborately. This map is most likely based on the anonymous drafts made between 1600 and 1635 and now stored in the Bibliotheque Nationale de France under the reference number DCP GE SH 18 PF 111 DIV 2 P 5 RES. Gerard van Keulen would equally make use of these drafts some decades later.

North is lef.

Multiple scale-bars. German miles 15 in a degree.

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Sources and literature

Brommer, A.B., Grote Atlas van de Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie, Deel V: Afrika