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Map of the New Governments of East and West Florida [Inset of Pensacola]
Gibson, John (1750-1792)
1763

One of the first maps published in England after it acquired Florida that year from Spain.

Published in Gentleman’s Magazine, November 1763. Also issued by Kitchen in 1763 and republished by Bellin in 1768. This map was based on a Spanish manuscript map, as indicated by the Spanish coastal names. The colony of Florida was transferred to England in 1763 by the Treaty of Paris which ended the Seven Years’ War (called the French and Indian War by us). In exchange for Florida, England returned Havana and Cuba (which they had acquired in 1762) to Spain. Florida was to remain an English colony until the Treaty of Versailles (or Second Treaty of Paris) of 1783 when it was returned to Spain for the so-called “Second Spanish Period.”

John Gibson was a geographer, engraver and a draughtsman who had maps published in the American Gazetteer (1762) and Universal Magazine. The depiction of the Florida peninsula as mostly islands was probably based on the Indian claims to the Franciscan monks that they could paddle their canoes from one coast to the other. This might have been true in southern Florida, south of Lake Okeechobee labeled “Laguna del Espiritu Santo” because the water level in the Everglades was 6-8 feet higher than it is now.