Anniversary Edition of Terrae Incognitae Now Available

Lydia Towns's picture
Texas, United States
Subject Fields: 
Atlantic History / Studies, British History / Studies, Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies, Early Modern History and Period Studies, Geography

Terrae Incognitae, 52: 2 (August, 2020): SPECIAL ANNIVERSARY ISSUE



Exploration History Scholarship: An “Untamable Beast”

            Richard Weiner


The Founders of the SHD and a Special Member: Biographies

Thomas (Thom) Goldstein

Carol Urness

John (Jack) Parker

Carol Urness with help from Sarah Parker

Vsevolod (Steve) Slessarev

Carol Urness

Barbara Backus McCorkle

            Ed Dahl

A Brief History of the Society for the History of Discoveries on the Occasion of its Sixtieth Anniversary

            Mirela Altić

Some Reflections  on Terrae Incognitae  to  Mark its Fiftieth  Anniversary

David Buisseret


“The Map of the Yurumanguí Indians. Charting the Erasure of the Pacific Lowlands’ Indigenous Inhabitants, 1742-1780” By Juliet Wiersema

The Map of the Yurumanguí Indians. Charting the Erasure of the Pacific Lowlands’ Indigenous Inhabitants, 1742–1780: Terrae Incognitae: Vol 52, No 2

The little-known map of the Yurumanguí Indians, created in the late colonial period, preserves information about a remote gold mining region in New Granada. This essay represents the first attempt to link this map to the previously known and partially published Misioneros de Yurumanguí case file, which documents the discovery, attempted reducción, and ultimate erasure of the indigenous inhabitants living along the Naya and Yurumanguí rivers in Colombia’s Pacific Lowlands between 1742-1780. Reconnecting this map to the documents that once accompanied it makes it possible to ascribe a date and an author to the map, as well as link the map to scholarship on the Yurumanguí Indians. An examination of map and case file highlights failed attempts to implement Bourbon reforms in New Granada’s periphery, illuminating competing interests among miners, Franciscans, and colonial authorities, and suggesting that peripheral areas did not always equate to peripheral players or peripheral stakes.

“Creating “Discovery”: The Myth of Columbus, 1777–1828” by Matthew H. Edney

Creating “Discovery”: The Myth of Columbus, 1777–1828: Terrae Incognitae: Vol 52, No 2

The modern concept of “discovery” was the creation of the “second scientific revolution” in the decades to either side of 1800. The wholesale reconfiguration of knowledge practices emphasized the Romantic figure of the lone, daring adventurer who could interrogate the dynamic and ever-shifting world to discern new truths. “Discovery” was transformed from an act of investigation into an act laden with social and cultural significance, not least of Western intellectual superiority. The new conception was formulated through Anglophone reinterpretations of Columbus, within a stadial philosophy of history, as a heroic man of science, from William Robertson’s History of America (1777) to Washington Irving’s History of the Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus (1828). The new concept of “discovery” further required historical assessment and validation, giving rise to the new scholarly formation of “the history of discoveries.”

“Merchants, Monarchs and Sixteenth-Century Atlantic Exploration: New Insight into Henry VIII's Planned Voyage of 1521” By, Lydia Towns

Merchants, Monarchs, and Sixteenth-Century Atlantic Exploration: New Insight into Henry VIII’s Planned Voyage of 1521: Terrae Incognitae: Vol 52, No 2

In 1521 Henry VIII of England and Cardinal Wolsey requested the Worshipful Company of Drapers and other London guilds to assistance in a westward voyage.  After the Drapers’ repeated refusal to contribute the requested assistance the expedition was canceled. Previous scholarship points to the failure of this expedition as an indicator that Henry VIII was uninterested in exploration. However, by revisiting the details of this expedition, this article argues that this expedition reveals Henry’s active interest in the Atlantic world and deepens our understanding of Henry and sixteenth century exploration. Henry’s Atlantic forays, whether realized or not, highlight a much more well-rounded and strategic monarch than past narratives have led us towards. Revisiting the failed expeditions of the early sixteenth century, as exemplified by the voyage of 1521, adds greater depth to our understanding of Atlantic exploration, sixteenth century monarchical goals, and the attitudes of the guilds toward exploration.


Recent Literature in Discovery History

            Austin Miller and Richard Weiner

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Richard Weiner- Editor of Terrae Incognitae

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