The oldest item in the State Archives of Florida, this engraved, hand-colored map or view-plan by Baptista Boazio depicts Sir Francis Drake's attack on Saint Augustine on May 28 and 29, 1586. Boazio, an Italian who worked in London from about 1585 to 1603, made maps to illustrate accounts of English expeditions and campaigns. He prepared a series of maps marking Sir Francis Drake's route for Walter Bigges' work on Drake's expedition to the West Indies, first published in 1588 (later editions followed).
This map highlights Drake's Caribbean expedition and pictorially portrays how the English corsair captured and burned the fort and city of Saint Augustine. The plan also includes an illustration of a dolphin which Boazio very likely copied from the drawings of English America by John White, a member of the 1585 Raleigh settlement of Virginia.
(Editor's note: Transcript provided with modernized spellings.)
A. The place where the whole fleet came to anchor.
B. The place where the Pinnaces* and Shipboats did set us on shore.
C. A Beacon or high scaffold standing on the sand hills, wherein the Spaniards did use to discover the ships at sea.
D. The way which our army marched along by the sea side towards their fort.
E. The Place where our Pinnaces put our ordinance on land.
F. A low plain or meadow ground through the which our troupes passed to go towards the woods right over against the Spaniards fort.
G. A wood growing hard by the river side, having between it and the river side a high bank of sand, in which wood our men encamped themselves, and in the said great bank of sand, being fitted for the purpose was placed also two pieces of ordinance to beat the Spanish fort, which was done with such expedition as they were planted and discharged twice or thrice the same day we landed, meaning the next day to have had more ordinance brought, and to have it planted on the same side of the river wherein the fort is, whither Master Carleill our Lieutenant general was minded the same night to transport himself & some part of the army, to lodge himself in some trenches close by the fort, but the Spaniards perceiving the approach abandoned the place before the day.
H. A Pinnace which the Spaniards had lying hard by their forte in the little river.
I. The fort which the Spaniards had made of the bodies of Cedar trees, they placed therein some fourteen great and long pieces of artillery, which at our arrival there to the sand bank played upon us, the forte was called Saint John de Pinos which afterward we burned.
K. Our Pinnaces as they rowed up the river being all full of men, who because the way was not passable were feign to embark them selves to take the town of Saint Augustine, which being won was at our departure burned to the ground.
L. The town of Saint Augustine where dwelled a hundred and fifty Spanish soldiers.
M. The town house.
N. A high scaffold for a watchman.
O. The Church.
P. The lively portraiture of a fish called the Dolphin, which is of three feuerall colours: the top of his back and all his fins be blue, all his sides are of light green, the belly white, his head almost all blue, the tail one part blue, and the lower part green, he is very pleasant to behold in the sea by day light, and in the night he seemeth to be of the colour of gold, he takes pleasure as other fishes do in swimming by the ship, he is excellent sweet to be eaten, this fish lives most by chasing of the flying fish and other small fishes, they are caught most commonly by our mariners with harping irons or fisgigs (fishgigs?).
*Pinnaces—small boats, often used for communication between a ship and soldiers on land.