Hydrographical Map of the Atlantic Ocean


de Brahm, William Gerard (1718-1799)


This map – the title of which seems to relate only vaguely to Florida – actually shows the course of the Gulf Stream, a very important factor in the history and climate of the area. The only land shown of the U.S. coast is East Florida & the coast north of it up to Charlestown. The course of the Gulf Stream shows the southern gyre and its influence by the arctic current. The portion of the Gulf Stream that extends northeast to the British Isles and west coast of Norway is not shown. This is not the first map to show the Gulf Stream, but it was de Brahm who named it.
William Gerard de Brahm was His Majesty’s Surveyor General for the Southern District of North America. He was born in Germany and went to the British colony of Georgia in 1751 as the leader of a party of Protestant immigrants. He was a surveyor, geographer and cartographer. He worked in Florida for six years, starting in 1765, in order to increase British awareness of the coasts and natural and physical aspects. The Atlantic Pilot was published in England in 1772 and contained this map and others. He had disagreements with many people, including East Florida Governor James Grant and was suspended from office and faced charges in England. He later returned to Charleston, then went back to England in 1777 and then to Philadelphia, where he died in 1799.


References: The Atlantic Pilot. A Facsimile Reproduction of the 1772 edition with Introduction and Index by Louis de Vorsey Jr., Bicentennial Floridiana, Facsimile Series, A University of Florida Book. The University Presses of Florida, Gainesville, 1974.
Servies No.497

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