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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Valentim Fernandes' five maps and the early history and geography of São Tomé
Author:Massing, AndreasISNI
Periodical:History in Africa
Geographic terms:São Tomé
São Tomé and Principe
Subjects:social history
About person:Valentim Fernandes (ca1450-1519)ISNI
External link:http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/history_in_africa/v036/36.1.massing.pdf
Abstract:Valentim Fernandes, a German printer who worked in Lisbon from 1495 to 1513, compiled several works on Africa and published them in 1506. His five maps of São Tomé are a unique source for the slow and gradual growth of the first settlements. The maps are completed by Fernandes' 1506 description of the island and survive in the Codex Hispanicus 27 of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek. The present author presents a detailed description of the maps and the sociopolitical facts included in Fernandes' 1506 description. From this he concludes that São Tomé was not originally planned as a potential colony, but remained a tropical prison colony for 20 years where undesirable elements were banned and volunteer colonists would not go. But after 1493 the prison colony was abandoned and the 'capitães' ('captains') built a new town of São Tomé on a new site whose favourable location supported their position as middlemen in the slave trade. Bibliogr., notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]