White-Debry Map of 1590

White and De Bry map from 1590
White and De Bry map from 1590
Following is the key to the White-De Bry map which was taken, with many liberties, from Appendix I of David B. Quinn's Roanoke Voyages (London, 1955).
Americae pars...1 (upper right corner): "Part of America, now called Virginia, first discovered by the English, taken up by Sir Walter Ralegh, Knight, in 1585 [sic] A.D., in the twenty-seventh [year] of the reign of our most serene Queen Elizabeth; the history whereof is truly described by this special book and also by the images of the natives included."

Apasus1 : Probably a village of the Algonquian Chesapeake tribe (see Chesepiooc) in present-day Virginia Beach, Va., perhaps between Lynnhaven Inlet and Little Creek. The name may mean "he basks in the sun."

Aquscogoc: Probably a town of the Secotan tribe (which see). Englishmen burned it in a dispute over a missing silver cup in July 1585. It evidently stood in present-day Hyde County, N.C., on the Pungo River or one of its eastern tributaries. Threes sites (31HY5, 6, and 7) north of Slade Creek seem plausible. It is tempting, but inadvisable, to seek an etymological connection with the Asparagus Creek site (31HY8).

Autore Ioanne With...1 (upper left corner): "Originated by John White, engraved by Theodor De Bry, who also composed [the type?]."

Catokinge, Mascoming, Metocuuem 1, [Ricahokene,] and Waratan: five towns of the Algonquian Weapemeoc tribe (which see). On the sketch maps White shows all but Metocuumen clustered on an arm of Albermale Sound — perhaps Edenton Bay, where contemporary Indian artifacts have been found — and groups them with a brace. (See also Chepanuu.) Ralph Lane's account of the 1585-1586 colony puts Metocuumen somewhere close by. De Bry separated the towns and moved Metocuumen across the Chowan River. Catokinge may mean, roughly, "at the riverbend" Mascoming, "at the place of the bear berries" Metocuumen, "big woods" Waratan, "village in a hollow." The meanings of the other names are obscure. Ricahokene, absent from this map, sounds much like Rockyhock, the modern name of a creek and a town in northwestern Chowan County, N.C.; but there is no other reason to believe that the town was so far north.

Chawanook: 1. A large Algonquian tribe living west of the Chowan River and north of the Roanoke. The Chowanoke evidently had nineteen towns, a fighting strength of about 700, and a likely total population of 2,000 or more. They were the southernmost large group of Algonquians on the east coast, and their name seems to mean "southern people."
2. Their capital, on the west bank of the Chowan River just below the mouth of the Wiccacon River in present-day Hertford County, N.C. Archaeologists confirmed this site in the 1980s. See also Ohaunoock.

Chepanuu: Probably a town of the Algonauian Weapemeoc tribe (which see), perhaps on the Little river in present-day Pasquotank or Perquimans County, N.C. The two town symbols tied together are puzzling. On the large-scale sketch map, White used a brace to show that four towns belonged to the Weapemeoc (see Catokinge). De Bry may have started to reproduce this group here, brace and all. The name may mean "cemetery."

Chesepiooc: Perhaps the capital of the Chesapeake, an Algonquian tribe living south of Chesapeake Bay. Both sketch maps seems to place the town between the Eastern and Western branches of the Lynnhaven River, in present-day Virginia Beach, but the White-De Bry map shows it farther south. The name seems to mean "great-shellfish-water people." The 17th-century town of Chesapeake may have been farther west (see Skicoak).

Chesepiooc sinus1: Chesapeake Bay. Influenced by earlier maps, e.g., Gutierrez (1562), White or his informants may have mistaken Hampton Roads, across which anyone might have seen easily, for the much wider bay; hence the incorrect size and orientation of the latter on this map.

Comokee 2: A town on the southern Delmarva Peninsula. It seems to have been in the territory of the Algonquian Accomack tribe; both names suggests "on the opposite side." (Occam, which Arthur Barlowe took for the name of Pamlico Sound in 1584, has a similar derivation, but is in a different dialect if not a different language.) The large-scale sketch map shows Combec [sic] below Mashawatec, the latter probably standing near Nassawadox Creek in present-day Northampton County, Va.

Cotan 2: A town of the Algonquian Secotan tribe (which see) labeled Seco on the large-scale sketch map. It may have stood in present-day Beaufort County, N.C., near Bath Creek, where several contemporary Indian sites (31BF23, 25, 45, 46, 103, and 104) have been found.

Croatoan: 1. The Island immediately south of Paquiwoc (which see). It probably stretched from just north of Cape Hatteras to the vicinity of Old Hatteras Inlet, which lay southwest of the modern inlet and closed around 1755.
2. The Algonquian tribe living on Croatoan.
3. Their capital, probably at the northeast end of present-day Buxton Woods. (Croatoan seems to mean "council town.") Remains of several settlements, perhaps including those shown but not named on this map, have been found in this area; but evidence that they were occupied in the late 1580s is fragmentary.

Cwareuuoc1: Perhaps a town of the Coree tribe, on Core Sound or Bogue Sound. The Coree may have been Iroquoian, Algonquian, or even Siouan.

Dasamonquepeuc: A town on the mainland of the present-day Dare County, N.C., in or near Manns Harbor, perhaps at site 31DR28; possibly the capital of the Roanoke tribe (see Roanoac 3). The etymology is obscure.

Hattorask: 1. The area from Port Ferdinando (see Hatorask 2) to Cape Kenrick, formerly in the vicinity of Rodanthe and Wimble Shoals. (Both features are shown, but not labeled, on this map.) It probably comprised the southern tip of present-day Bodie Island and the northern one-third of Hatteras Island. The name may refer to the lack of vegetation. See also Paquiwoc. (Cape Kenrick may share a Proto-Algonquian root, meaning "sinking-down sand," with Chicamacomico, an obsolescent name for the locality.)
2. Port Ferdinando, the inlet providing the "beste harboroughe" on this part of the coast, according to Ralph Lane. It formed the northern boundary of Hatorask 1 and evidently lay near present-day Oregon Inlet.

Honi soit qui mal y pense1 (on the royal arms in the upper left corner): "Shame on him who thinks ill of it," the motto of the order of the Garter.

Mascoming: See Catokinge.

Mequopen1: An Algonquian town of uncertain affiliations shown near the location given to Moratuc (which see) on the sketch maps. Quinn suggests that it stood on the Scuppernong River, which seems too far east. Its name may mean "where there are red tubers."

Metocuuem1: See Catokinge.

Mongoack1: An Algonquian name for an Iroquoian tribe living west of the Chowanoke (see Chawanook), perhaps the Meherrin or Nottoway. De Bry seems to place the tribe too far south, in Tuscarora territory. The name may mean "rattlesnakes" and may be related to Mingo, an uncomplimentary name that more northerly Algonquians such as the Delaware bestowed on their Iroquoian neighbors.

Moratuc: 1. An Algonquian tribe living on the Roanoke River.
2. Their likely capital, shown on both sketch maps near the spot taken by Mequopen (which see) on this map. A tract on Welch Creek near Plymouth , N.C., has yielded evidence of a large Indian town, so De Bry seems to have put Moratuc too far west and on the wrong side of the Roanoke River.
3. The Roanoke River, which Ralph Lane found to have "so violent a current... that with oares it could scarce be nauigable. The name seems to mean "dangerous river."

Neuusiooc 2: A town and tribe on the south bank of the lower Neuse River in present-day Craven or Carteret County, N.C. The name seems Algonquian, but the tribe may have been Iroquoian. One report has the Neusiok allied with the inhabitants of Panauuaioc against the Secotan (both of which see).

Ohaunoock1: This seems to be a composite of Chowanoke, capital of the tribe of the same name (see Chawanook), and one of its subject towns, Ohanoak, "the blinde Towne." No surviving map shows Ohanoak, but Ralph Lane said that it stood south of Chowanoke on the same side of the Chowan River.

Panauuaioc1: A town, and perhaps a tribe, of uncertain affiliations. Quinn places it on upper Pamlico River, but De Bry seems to show it on an exaggerated Bay River (see also Sectuooc). John Smith mentioned Indian reports that Europeans, whom he assumed to be survivors of the 1587 Lost Colony, lived at "Panawicke, beyond Roanoke."

Paquiwoc: Probably the middle one-third of present-day Hatteras Island, stretching from Cape Kenrick (shown here, but not labeled) to an inlet just north of Cape Hatteras (labeled Chacandepeco on the 1611 Velasco map). The name seems to mean "there are shallows." See also Hatorask1.

Paquuyp1: Lake Mattamuskeet, in present-day Hyde County, N.C. The name seems to mean "dry lake." Its average depth is only 18", so a long drought might dry it up.

Pasquenoke1: Probably a town of the Algonquian Weapemeoc tribe (which see). The sketch maps show Masequetuc in almost the same location, but Quinn insists that the towns were separate. The name may mean "land of the immigrant women" (Ralph Lane called it "the womans Towne") or "people of the fork in the river," the river in question being, in all likelihood, the Pasquotank.

Pomelock: A palisaded town between Pamlico Sound and Lake Mattamuskeet in present-day Hyde County, N.C. It may have belonged to the Roanoke tribe (see Roanoac 3) or to the Secotan 1 (which see), both Algonquian. The name seems to indicate a place of refuge. Excavations in the 1980s have led archaeologists to conclude with some confidence that the town stood near the head of Middletown Creek.

Promontorium tremendum ("dreadful cape"): Cape Lookout, sometimes called Cape Fear of Cabo de Trafalgar in contemporary maps and accounts.

Roanoac: 1. Roanoke Island. On the pen-and-ink sketch map sometimes attributed to Ralph Lane, Roanoke Island is labeled "ye kinges ill:"-probably because the king of the Roanoke tribe lived here at least part-time; see immediately below.
2. The palisaded village on the north end of Roanoke Island visited by Ralegh's reconnaissance party under Phillip Amadas and Arthur Barlowe in 1584. This seems to have been occupied mainly by the king of the Roanoke tribe (see immediately below) and his relatives and retainers.
3. The Algonquian tribe to whom both the island and the village belonged. The name may mean "northern people" (see also Chawanook 1) or may have something to do with shell beads.

Ramushouuoq1: A town near Parkers Ferry site (31HF1 and 2) at the confluence of the Meherrin and Chowan rivers in present-day Hertford County, N.C., or at the confluence of the Nottoway and Blackwater rivers in Southampton County, Va. It was probably a Chowanoke town (see Chawanook 1) that passed to the Iroquoian Meherrin (see Mongoack) in the late 17th century.

Scala leucarum: "Scale of leagues." The length of a league varied widely; here it seems to be about 2 nautical miles.

Secotan: 1. An Algonquian tribe inhabiting both sides of the Pamlico River, probably the Machapunga of later centuries.
2. Their probable capital (Secota on this map), a fairly large town, perhaps on Durham Creek (31BF49, 50, 58, 86, and 87) in Beaufort County, North Carolina. The name seems to mean "town at the bend of the river"

Sectuooc: Perhaps a town of the Algonquian Secotan tribe (which see). Quinn places it on the lower Pamlico River, but on the large-scale sketch map White seemed to show it on the Bay River, a tributary, enlarged here. A contemporary Indian site (31PM7) has been found on the latter, near Vandemere, North Carolina. The name seems to mean "they who dwell at the bend of the river."

Skicoak: Probably an important town of the Chesapeake tribe (see Chesepiooc) on the east side of the Elizabeth River in present-day Norfolk, Virginia, or on the Southern Branch in the city of Chesapeake. In his account of the 1584 expedition Arthur Barlowe, who knew little about the region and nothing about the Algonquian languages at the time, called it a city. It may have been near, or identical with, the 17th century town of Chesapeake, to which survivors of the Chesapeake tribe fled.

Tandaquomuc1: A town of uncertain affiliations near the mouth of the Roanoke River. The name may mean "where the road goes by the big evergreens."

Tramasquecoock: A town of uncertain affiliations on the upper Alligator River. On the large-scale sketch map, White shows it on the east bank; De Bry shows it on the west. The name may have to do with beavers or with white cedar; compare Transquaking, a river in Dorchester County, Maryland.

Trinety harbor1: An inlet, perhaps on the site of Caffeys Inlet (1798?-1811?), north of the present-day town of Duck, North Carolina. In 1585 Ralph Lane said that it had 8 feet of water over the bar at high tide. Its omission from the sketch maps may suggest that White did not remain in the New World with Lane. Its presence here is probably a correction. It may have been discovered on one of the Sundays after Trinity (e.g., 1 or 8 August 1585 O.S.).

Virginia: The name that Sir Walter Ralegh proposed for his territory in the New World. The honoree, Queen Elizabeth I, the "Virgin Queen", probably approved this name in late 1584 O.S. It replaced the Anglo-Indian name Wingandacon, probably a misinterpreted reference either to English attire or to trees, and Ossomocumuck, which may have been a native place name.

Waratan: See Catokinge.

Weapemeoc: An Algonquian tribe living north of Albermale Sound and east of the Chowan River. The etymology is obscure. See also Catokinge.

Wokokon: 1. An inlet near, or identical with, present-day Ocracoke Inlet.
2. An Island, which Arthur Barlowe called "an out Island vninhabited," probably consisting of the southern half of modern Ocracoke Island. The etymology of Wokokon (perhaps from Proto-Algonquian *waxkahikani, "stockade" or "stronghold") and the palisade symbol northeast of the inlet may indicate a palisaded town abandoned before English contact. De Bry used this symbol with some lack of restraint to indicate towns without palisades, such as Pomeiock (which see), and perhaps other things; so it is far from certain what the symbol signifies here.

1 Unique to the White-De Bry map.
2 Appears on the large-scale sketch map.

Last updated: August 2, 2016

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