LE MOYNE, Jacques (1533-1588) - De BRY, Johann Theodore (1560-1623). Brevis narratio eorum quae in Florida... Frankfurt: Theodor de Bry, 1591.

$ 58,000.00

LE MOYNE, Jacques (1533-1588) - De BRY, Johann Theodore (1560-1623). Brevis narratio eorum quae in Florida Americae Provicia Gallis acciderunt, secunda in allam Navigatione. Frankfurt: Theodor de Bry, 1591.

Folio (14 4/8 x 9 2/8 inches). Without errata leaf at end. Engraved allegorical title-page, dedication leaf with engraved armorial vignette, engraved allegorical sectional title-page (pale waterstain to gutter throughout). Large engraved double-page map "Floridae Americae Provinciae", 43 fine engraved half-page vignettes after Jacques Le Moyne, woodcut head- and tail-pieces and initials (early marginal repairs to some leaves). Contemporary vellum over paste-board (lightly soiled)

Provenance: early collation at foot of title-page; with the engraved armorial bookplate of Marcel de Regis de la Colombiere on the front paste-down.

First edition of the second part of de Bry's "Great Voyages".

In 1564 Le Moyne was recruited by Gaspard de Coligny, then admiral of France and sponsor of the French Florida colonization expeditions of 1562-1565, to chart the coast and rivers of northeastern Florida under the leadership of René Goulaine de Laudonnière. On arriving in Florida, they founded Fort Caroline, near present-day Jacksonville, at the mouth of the St. John's River, where they remained for fifteen months until the fort came under attack from the Spaniards (who were determined to drive the French out of Florida) at dawn on the 20th of September 1565. Le Moyne and René de Laudonnière were among the only fifteen men who managed to escape. Eventually they made their way back to France where they gave a report of the expedition to Charles IX, and Le Moyne presented his map of Florida to the king.  "Le Moyne contributed to Europeans' knowledge of North America through his paintings and his map of Florida more than through his narrative, which adds little information to Laudonnière's "Histoire notable de la Floride..."... Despite their ethnographic inaccuracies, Le Moyne's engravings remain a precious iconographic source of early southeastern Native American history. The map, which represents the Floridian peninsula and Cuba, is based on Ribault's reports and charts as well as Le Moyne's own observations and fills an important gap in southeastern North America cartography" (Bertrand Van Ruymbeke for ADNB).  

The influence of the map was considerable: Hondius used it for his maps of the area in 1606, "the atlas in which it occurred was Mercator's and his fame was enough to prolong its authority until the Blaeu VIRGINIAE partis australis, c. 1638" (Burden). Adams B-2986 (incorrect collation); Alden & Landis 591/38; Arents Tobacco 40; Burden 79; Church 145; Sabin Vol. 3, pp.30ff; Schwartz & Ehrenberg, pp.64-7. Catalogued by Kate Hunter