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Mapa de la Florida y Laguna de Maimi donde se ha de hacer un Fuerte
Unknown Cartographer
1600?

This is the first map to use the name Miami, which in the various descriptions is spelled Maimi, Mayma, Meiymi and it means Big Water referring to the dark circled lake in the center of the map which was later called Lake Okeechobee and still is.

The date on this map is conjectural. The place names on the coast are based on earlier maps before 1596. In 1595, the governor of Havana Juan Maldonado sent his nephew Juan Maldonado to Florida to examine the east coast from St. Augustine to the keys (labeled Martires). At the same time Juaan de Posada was in Florida and wrote to the government that they should dismantle all the forts in Florida. The map may have been part of his letter so it may have predated 1600 by as much as 15 years.

The original is in the Archives of the Indies in Sevilla, Spain and is listed in Maps de Mexico y Florida by Pedro Torre Lanzas. A reproduction of this map is in the Library of Congress in Woodbury Lowery’s The Spanish Settlements within the present limits of the United States, Florida, 1562-1574, New York, 1905.

References: Lowery, Woodbury. The Lowery Collection. A Descriptive List of Maps of the Spanish Possessions within the United States, 1502-1820. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 1912. pp 100-101.

Image: Library of Congress. Courtesy of James Flatness