The Conservative (Nebraska City, Neb.) 1898-1902, February 06, 1902, Page 8, Image 8
TWO IMPORTANT AND INTEREST ING CHARTS. The time mid circumstances of the * I first appenrauco of the word ' ' Amer ? ] ica" on a geographical chart consti tuted a mooted and much combated question among the students of cosmog raphy aud chartography. The cable lately reported from Germany the uii- earthing of the long missed and much limited for world-maps of Waldsee- mnellor , printed in the years 1507 aud 1516. This ended and decided the con troversy. But before we consider this important discovery , the reader will kindly permit a small digression. America. Well known is the Pre-Columbian discovery of' ' America" ' by the North men. "Eric the Red" coining from Iceland , set foot on the soil of Green- laud in the tenth century , and later on his sou , "Leif the Lucky , " visited the coast of the North American continent , starting from what we call Labrador today , and going south as far as the region between Boston and Now York , where the Northmen established a set tlement , called "Vinland. " Northmen. Stones , inscribed with runes , after the fashion of the old Germanic peoples ples , are yet in existence , silent wit nesses of ancient times , telling the tale of a misty past. The Northmen , a semi-barbaric people , and living in remote regions , had but little com munication with other folks , or none at all ; thus it happened that neither the more erudite aud cultured nations of southern Europe , nor geographical science profited by the exploits of those bold adventurers. Columbus. In Columbus we justly recognize nowadays the true discoverer of the new world , but fate denied to him the honor of being its sponsor. Not a writer himself , ho was unfortunate in not finding a ready and capable narrator rater of his exploits. And as news traveled slow in those days and truth still slower , Columbus received but small recognition among his contem poraries outside of Spain and Portugal. Amerigo Vespucci. There is no historic evidence that Amerigo Vespucci , a learned Italian merchant and cosmograph , who made several voyages to the new world , which afterwards bore his name , aspired to this honor , but ho was lucky enough to possess numerous aud influential friends and admirers , who advocated his cause , thus temporarily obscuring the merits of Columbus and the priority of. his claims. So it came to pass that Martin Waldseemueller ( this appellation means' ' the miller by the lake of the woods" ) , a Gorman bookseller , writer and chartographer , who called himself often' ' Ilacomilus' ' grecizing his name after the manner of the Humanists and the usage of the times , became much impressed with the exploits of Amerigo. Ho translat ed in the year 1507 a French account of Amerigo's travels into the Latin language. This book , " Cosmograph- iae Introductio , " appeared in four editions aud gained great circulation and influence , spreading Amerigo's fame and name far aud wide. Waldseemueller. Waldseeinuoller also proposed the name ' ' America , ' ' inscribing it upon the map of the world designed by him in the same year. The "New York Staatszeituug" tells in an interesting German correspond ence how those two valuable charts wore recovered , after they had been missing for centuries. I take the liberty of quoting from said paper in free translation : "Professor Dr. von Wieser of the Innsbruck University , who not long ago instituted a search for Waldsee- mueller's great world-maps of 1507 and 1516 , and succeeded to find Waid- soemuellor's less ' important 'Carta itiueraria Europae , ' 1511 , announces now that his co-scholar and former student , Professor Joseph Fischer , has unearthed the two missing charts. Fischer is interested in the voyages of the Northmen to the North American coast. During his search for some old maps of Greenland he had the good luck to find Waldseemueller's two great charts in an old aud dusty folio belonging to the magnificent library of Prince Waldburg at Wolfegg , in Wuerttemberg. Charts of 1507 and 1516. "Both maps are xylographs. The one of 1507 is inscribed 'Univorsalis Cosmographia secundum Ptolomaei traditionem et Americi Vespucii alio- rumquo illustrationes. ' It bears art istic vignettes of Ptolemaeus aud Amerigo Vespucci , and the word 'America' appears immediately over the Tropic of the Capricorn. ' ' German savants , stimulated by the investigations and example of the great Alexander von Humboldt , have recovered many old charts inscribed with the name 'America' , butWald- seemueller's map of 1507 is undoubted ly the first and oldest printed chart showing the now continent and con ferring upon it the name ' America. ' Waldseemueller dropped this word in his second world-map , the 'Carta Marina , ' 1516 , also found by'JFischer , because during the interval of nine years the true version of affairs gained ground , and Columbus had finally been accepted as the real discoverer of the new world. Too Late. "But it was too late ! A lasting impression had been produced by the thousand copies of the chart of 1507 with the accompanying 'Cosmo- graphiae Introducio. ' The magic word ' America' had como to stay ! Wald- seemuoller's great chartographio mon ument has awakened much interest among students and laymen on ac count of its deep and abiding influ ence upon the minds of Columbus' contemporaries and its far-reaching consequences. Reprint. "Prince Waldburg , who takes great pride in the possession of the two in valuable charts , has already given permission for their reproduction and publication ; this will be done under the supervision of Wieser and Fischer. ' ' Appreciated. The reprint of these maps , especi ally the one of 1507 conferring and establishing the name "America" up on our continent , will be heartily welcomed and much valued in this country. This is one of the few iu- tances where the quiet and patient labors of the men of abstract science , who far removed from the noise of the market , the chase after the dollar and the tumultuous arena of politics , work aud strive for the advancement of knowledge and scientific truth , find a ready appreciation with the general public. E. W. S. NEW WONDER BOOK. An advance copy of the Classification Book for the Louisiana Purchase Expo sition at St. Louis in 1903 , has been re ceived. Fifty-three pages are required for a mere enumeration of the groups and classes of exhibits. The exhibits of the entire exposition are divided into fifteen departments , as follows : Edu cation , eight groups ; art , six groups ; liberal arts , thirteen groups ; manu facturers , thirty-four groups ; transpor tation , six groups ; agriculture , twenty- seven groups ; horticulture , seven groups ; forestry , three groups ; mining and metallurgy , five groups ; anthropo logy , four groups ; social economy , thirteen groups ; physical culture , three groups. The total shows 144 groups and 807 classes , and under each class is a possibility for a multitude of exhibits. Nothing reflects more clearly in so small a space , the variety of human occupa tions , or more comprehensively the broad scope of the great exposition which the people of St. Louis are pre paring for next year. A. place is pro vided for every conceivable .product worthy of exhibition , and all nat ions of the world have been invited to take part. Acceptances have been re ceived from many. The work of con struction is progressing earnestly. The buildings will have an aggregate floor space of 200 acres , and the grounds a total area of 1,000 acres. The money now available aggregates $15,000,000 , besides $1,000,000 appropriated by the state of Missouri , and various liberal sums from other states. The classifica tion and the rules and regulations of the exposition will be mailed free on appli cation to the Director of Exhibits , World's Fair , St. Louis.