Based on the work of the French geographer Jean Baptiste Bourguignon d'Anville, this map of the West Indies was published by the prolific late-18th-century British firm of Laurie and Whittle. The map encompasses a region that modern geographers refer to as Middle America, the lands and islands bordering the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea.
In presenting the European colonial rivalries for these coveted lands, the map maker used six colors to symbolize those areas under the control of Spain, England, and France, the major players in this colonial arena, as well as the lesser participants -- the Netherlands, Denmark, and Sweden. While most of the mainland (Florida, Mexico, Central America, and northern South America) was colored yellow indicating Spanish control, British possessions, shown in red, include two areas on the Central American mainland as well as Jamaica and most of the Lesser Antilles. Meanwhile France's possessions, shown in blue, have been reduced to Hispaniola, Guadaluope, and Martinique following France's defeat in the French and Indian War.
Cataloging, conservation, and digitization made possible in part by The National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.
Featured in the Faces & Places Exhibit, Kravis Center, Palm Beach, Florida, since 2005.