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Maps of the Southeast: 1544, 1562, 1566, 1570, 1578, 1584 & 1590

We thought that readers would enjoy seeing the evolution of maps during the period when France, Spain and England were first exploring Southeastern North America.   These are the type of educational tools that we will be using when POOF University (or whatever it will be called) gets going in 2016.

Note that on all Spanish, French, English and Dutch Maps,  Fort Caroline is located on the south side of the mouth of the Altamaha River in Georgia.   France NEVER claimed any land south of the St. Marys River, which divides Florida and Georgia today.    Both the myth of Fort Caroline being located in Jacksonville and the myth of the Fountain Youth being located in St. Augustine, were created by a New York transplant, who had speculated in land near both of those towns in the 1840s.

Click maps to enlarge them to full size.

1544 - map accompanying report to King of Spain on the De Soto Expeditiion

1562 - Diego Gutierrez

1562 – Diego Gutierrez

1566 - Geronimo Chaves

1566 – Geronimo Chaves

1566 - John? Longhurst

1566 – John? Longhurst


Engraver in Leyden, Holland - probably based on input from Jacques Le Moyne, the artist at Fort Caroline.

1570 -74  – Pieter Vander – Engraver in Leyden, Holland – probably based on input from  a survivor of Fort Caroline or a member of the 1568 Dominique de Gourgues Punitive Expedition.


1578 - Geronimo Chaves

1578 – Geronimo Chaves



1584 – Chaves Brothers – By a royally appointed cartographer of Spain. The identity of which Chaves is not certain.

1590 - Teodor de Bry (Dutch) for Queen Elizabeth

1590 – Teodor de Bry (Dutch) for Queen Elizabeth

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Richard Thornton is a professional architect, city planner, author and museum exhibit designer-builder. He is today considered one of the nation’s leading experts on the Southeastern Indians. However, that was not always the case. While at Georgia Tech Richard was the first winner of the Barrett Fellowship, which enabled him to study Mesoamerican architecture and culture in Mexico under the auspices of the Institutio Nacional de Antropoligia e Historia. Dr. Roman Piňa-Chan, the famous archaeologist and director of the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, was his fellowship coordinator. For decades afterward, he lectured at universities and professional societies around the Southeast on Mesoamerican architecture, while knowing very little about his own Creek heritage. Then he was hired to carry out projects for the Muscogee-Creek Nation in Oklahoma. The rest is history. Richard is the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the KVWETV (Coweta) Creek Tribe and a member of the Perdido Bay Creek Tribe. In 2009 he was the architect for Oklahoma’s Trail of Tears Memorial at Council Oak Park in Tulsa. He is the president of the Apalache Foundation, which is sponsoring research into the advanced indigenous societies of the Lower Southeast.



    Great info. Can’t wait for the POOF school to begin. My work (sales) has me traveling through all the areas you are researching (GA, AL, FL). It so interesting to be learning the real history about these places. Thanks


    Yes Richard, Thank You !!!

    I love these old maps. They tell so much more, than what ever has been written in books about this area.


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