Dorothy Sloan -- Books

Copyright 2000- by Dorothy Sloan-Rare Books Inc. for all materials on this site. All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.


October 26, 2007

“This map broke the spell”-Leighly in California as an Island

105. [MAP]. [KINO, Francisco Eusebio]. Passo por Tierra | a la California | y sus Confinantes Nue | vas Naciones, y Nuevas | Missiones de la Compa. | de Iesus, | en la America Septen | trional. [below title panel] 1701 [text on verso with heading at top & page number] Mensis Martii M DCC VII 79.... [Hamburg, ca. 1703-1707]. Engraved map on laid paper, later(?) shading and outline coloring. Neat line to neat line: 18.7 x 13.8 cm. Very fine, beautiful impression. Exceedingly rare.

             This exquisite little map, which disproved the colossal error that California was an island, appeared in the German publication, Nova literaria germaniae collecta... (Hamburg, 1703-1706). On verso is text relating to Kino, Salvatierria, missionary labors in the Spanish Southwest, and Kino's map. This edition of Kino's map is not noted by standard sources, including the excellent, comprehensive work of Ernest J. Burrus (Kino and the Cartography of Northwestern New Spain [Arizona Historical Society, 1965, pp. 46-50]).

            The first printing of Kino's map is generally agreed to have appeared in France in 1705, as part of a collection of Jesuit letters (Lettres edifiantes et curieuses, ecrites des missions Etrangeres par quelques Missionnaires de la Compagnie de Jesús [Paris: Nicolas Le Clerc, 1705]). References to that first printing include: Barrett, Baja California 1470. Burrus, Kino and the Cartography of Northwestern New Spain, pp. 46-50 & Plate X: “The best known of all his maps.” Cowan I, p. 139: “[The map] includes part of California, the Gulf, and New Mexico, with location of Indian tribes.” Cumming 236. Plate 379. European Americana 1705/101. Lowery 250. Palau 136972. Sabin 40697. Schwartz & Ehrenberg, The Mapping of America, Plate 75: “The first engraving of Kino’s lost 1701 manuscript map was published in Paris in 1705.... First map disproving the California as an island concept.” Streeter Sale 2424: “The famous Kino map of remarkably accurate, and remained the best map of much of the area until the twentieth century.” Wagner, Cartography of the Northwest Coast 483. Wagner, Spanish Southwest 74a. Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West I, p. 76: “Kino’s map exerted a great influence on contemporary cartography, especially after the French mapmaker, Guillaume Delisle, adopted the redoubtable missionary’s thesis.”

            Of the Kino map, Leighly (California as an Island, p. 42) states: “[Kino's] map broke the spell so long imposed on cartography by the myth of an insular California.” Burrus further comments (p. 50): “Kino's revolutionary map was given exceptionally wide publicity in the most popular publications at the time and also in the most scientific reviews and books. Europe's most outstanding map-makers took notice of it. At first they merely mentioned the rediscovery of the peninsularity of California, often underscoring the fact that it had been made by an eyewitness; gradually the geographic reality was recognized by more and more cartographers, geographers, and historians. The insularity theory had been put on trial and before a century had passed would be condemned to prudent silence if not death.”

            Father Kino is a towering figure in the history of the Spanish Southwest and the Borderlands. Heckrotte (editor), California 49: Forty-Nine Maps of California from the Sixteenth Century to the Present, Map 11 & pp. 22-23 (referring to the 1705 printing of the map): “Kino was an educated Italian Tyrolese who became a Jesuit priest after university study under several cartographers. Arriving in Mexico in 1683, Kino joined a mission-establishing voyage to Baja California. Early missions proved unsuccessful but Kino crossed the peninsula along the river St. Thomas, shown on the map, to confirm this. In 1701, at the confluence of the Gila and Colorado Rivers, he viewed the continuous mountains to the west and convinced himself that California was attached to the mainland.... Kino was highly respected by the native peoples he befriended. His bones are still venerated in the town of Magdalena, Sonora, Mexico” (commentary by Bill Warren and Dora Beale Polk). ($1,000-2,000)

Sold. Hammer: $1,300.00; Price Realized: $1,527.50

Auction 21 Abstracts

Click images or links labeled Enlarge to enlarge. Links labeled Zoom open zoomable images.

Auction 21 | DSRB Home | e-mail: