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Skecth map of Guyana between the rivers Corentyne and Demerara


Skecth map of Guyana between the rivers Corentyne and Demerara

Jacobsz, Gerrit

Title Leupe: "Schetskaart van Guiana tusschen de Corantijn en Demeraray-rivieren. Met een hierbij behoorende MS. beschrijving der reis van Gerrit Jacobsz te Paramaribo van 21 December 1718-26 Februari 1720."

The early sketch map of the coast of Guyana extending from the Corentyne to the Demerara, was probably drawn early in 1720 by the Jewish merchant Gerrit Jacobsz. It records the first stages of his expedition to find the legendary Eldorado on the Parima River or Rio Branco, a tributary of the Amazon in northern Brazil, for which he set out from Paramaribo on his own initiative in December 1718.

The Dutch National Archive preserves a copy of Jacobsz’s journey report which is incorporated in the second expedition report (reference number VELH576B). The expedition route indicated on the map led through already known but as yet uncolonized regions. The later stages of the expedition took hum beyond this map, along the Essequibo and upstream to the extreme upper reaches of the Rupununi tributary. From there he continued in a south-westerly direction to the Ireng, the river forming the present border with Brazil, and on to the Takutu that ultimately leads to the Rio Branco. He did not find a trace of Eldorado, and learning that he there were Portuguese settlements nearby, resolved to start his return journey for fear of being taken prisoner.

North is below.

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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)