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Sketch-map of Ralegh’s Virginia (present-day North Carolina), showing the area from Pamlico Sound to Albemarle Sound (original in possession of the Public Record Office, London, MPG 584). The map “cannot be proved to be White’s work but is possibly his.” Drawn ca. July to late September, 1585.
Repr. on pg. 10 of Paul Hulton’s America, 1585.


This original sketch-map is one of only five surviving maps resulting from the topographical survey carried out by Thomas Hariot and John White from Roanoke Island, 1585–6, and is

the result of the boat journeys in Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds made by the explorers between July and late September [1585]. It was constructed from elementary surveys requiring no more than compass bearings and estimated distances, and though very roughly executed yet shows some professional touches. It is a proper map, not a bird’s-eye view, containing a good deal of information about the botanical and zoological character of this part of the coast given in glosses written over the areas concerned, together with symbols for palisaded and open Indian villages (Pomeiooc and Secoton), and shoals and an indication of water depth. As an ecological document it comes close to what was required of Bavin. The writing on the map is probably not Harriot’s and no cursive writing by White exists with which to compare it. However, its basic italic character is not at odds with his formal italic found throughout the original drawings.

(Hulton, America, 1585: The
Complete Drawings of John White


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