“Gegend der Provinz Bemarin im Königreich Apalacha.” From Charles de Rochefort’s Algemeine Geschichte der Lander und Volker von Amerika.
Halle: Johann Justinius Gebauer, 1752-53. 8 x 11 ½ (image). Engraving. With folds as issued. Very good condition.
A view of the mythical Kingdom of Apalache and its capital of Melilot. The land made its first appearance in Charles de Rochefort’s Histoire Naturelle et Morale des îles Antilles ... (Rotterdam, 1658) This plate first appeared in the second French editions of this work in 1665. Rochefort’s volume is a history of the West Indies, and it includes a long description of Apalache.
According to Rochefort, this was where the original Caribs came from before they settled in the West Indies. Apalache was supposedly located inland from the coasts of the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico, and it was something of a Utopia. The natives were supposed to have been converted to Christianity by the survivors of the French attempt at settlement in Florida in the sixteenth century. According to Rochefort, in 1621 a group of English, on their way from Virginia to New England, were blown off course, landed in Florida, and eventually settled in Apalache, where they further solidified the grip of Christianity on the country. The image shows Olaimy Mountain, the city of Melilot, with the church and the palace of the “Parakousse,” and an illustration of the “sensitive plant.”