Check Out These Amazing Colonial Maps Of The Turks & Caicos

All the way back from the 1700s!

Colonial Map 2 1

I'm a student at the University of Florida. As a student, I have access to the university's enormous digital archives. Just for fun, I decided to search "Turks and Caicos" in the archives database, and what I found was a treasure trove of beautiful colonial maps! Check out some of my favourites.

Colonial Map 1

Spanish map from 1815

Colonial Map 1 1

The 1815 map zoomed in on Turks and Caicos.

This Spanish map was published in 1815 by the Depósito Hidrográfico de Marina, an organisation in Madrid that catalogued maritime charts and maps.

Colonial Map 2

A French map, published in 1780.

Colonial Map 2 1

The 1780 map zoomed in on Turks and Caicos.

This French map was published in 1780 in Paris, and was created by Rigobert Bonne, who is considered to be one of the most important cartographers of the late 18th century. Bonne worked as the Royal Cartographer to France in at the Depôt de la Marine, and is said to have created some of the most detailed and accurate maps of the time.

Colonial Map 3

A French map published in 1782.

Colonial Map 3 1

The 1782 map zoomed in on Turks and Caicos.

This is another French map created by Rigobert Bonne, published in 1782. It was published in L'Abbe Grenet, a French atlas at the time.

Colonial Map 4

A French map published sometime between 1737 and 1768

Colonial Map 4 2

Bellin's map zoomed in on Turks and Caicos.

This is another French map from the Depôt de la Marine, created by Bonne's predecessor, Jacques-Nicolas Bellin. It was published sometime between 1737 and 1768. Bellin was a Royal Cartographer for over 50 years, as well as a philosophe (a French intellectual during the Enlightenment) and member of the Académie de Marine and the Royal Society of London.

I hope you enjoyed looking at some of the very first maps of Turks and Caicos as much as I did! Which one was your favourite?

Written By

Annika Seffer

Annika was born in the Bahamas but grew up in Turks and Caicos from the age of 1. She is currently studying journalism at the University of Florida.

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