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Number: 3917
Continent: Africa
Region: Central
Place Names: Angola, Mozambique, Zambia, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe
Year of Origin: 1891
Title: Carta das Possessoes Portuguezas da Africa Meridional Segundo as convencoes celebradas em 1891...
Language: Portuguese
Publish Origin: Paris
Height: 46.1
Width: 65.2
Units: centimeters
Size Class.: Medium
Scale: 1 : 6,000,000
Color Type: Full Color
Click for high-resolution zoomable image
Cartographer: Commissao de Cartographia.
Engraver: Longuet
Publisher: Erhard Fres Freres
Comissao de Cartografia
Other Contributors: Ferin & C.
Northernmost Latitude: -2.0
Southernmost Latitude: -27.0
Westernmost Longitude: 8.0
Easternmost Longitude: 44.0
Measurement Notes: on map
Notes: [Dasa Pahor/Alex Johnson source] OFFICIAL ANGLO-PORTUGUESE TREATY MAP: Colour lithograph, dissected into 21 sections and mounted upon original linen, a small extension flap folds out on the top right to augment the scope to embrace all of Lake Victoria, with the contemporary map seller?s handstamp of 'Ferin & C?.', and publisher?s printed pastedown label to verso of Lanee succr. de Longuet. (Erhard Freres associated label) (Very Good, some minor spotting and toning especially along folds), 52 x 71 cm (20.5 x 28 inches). One of the most important Portuguese maps from the ;Scramble for Africa' era, an official work by the Comissao de Cartografia that shows Mozambique and Angola's boundaries with the adjacent British territories (today?s Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi)'that formed the basis of for these frontiers up the present day, showing the routes of numerous recent Portuguese explorers, the map is a powerful rhetorical device that shows Portugal to not be merely a bit player in charge of its traditional coastal enclaves, but rather an activist, ambitious power with a broad reach deep into the interior of the continent, published in Paris by the venerable firm of Erhard Freres - very rare on the market. During the mid-19th century, Portugal controlled the coasts of Angola and Mozambique, as it had for three centuries, although its presence in the interior was very light to nonextant. The inland regions were home to many often-less-than-welcoming native nations and riddled with deadly tropical diseases, and the Portuguese, as a maritime people, were inherently ill-suited to such places. While efforts were made from 1840 to 1869 to buttress their littoral holdings with increased settlement in the hinterland, Portugal was initially unprepared for the ?Scramble for Africa? the was to ensue amongst the European powers. Lisbon was especially concerned by Britain?s increasingly aggressive designs, which threatened to undermine what was the world?s oldest diplomatic alliance (England and Portugal had been allies since the Treaty of Windsor (1386)). Britain had ruled the Cape Colony since the 1806, while the eastern interior of South Africa was home to the independent Afrikaner states of the South African Republic (ZAR, or Transvaal) and the Orange Free State, officially founded in the 1850s. The interior to the north and beyond remained largely an enigma to Europeans until the explorations of David Livingston, in the 1850s, who visited the Great Lakes of Africa, including Lake Nyasa (Lake Malawi), that bordered northern Mozambique. The discovery of the world?s largest reserves of diamonds on the fronteirs of the Cape Colony and the Orange Free State, in 1868, dramatically increased British interest the Southern Africa, placing pressure upon both Portugal and the Afrikaner republics. In the 1870s, British Protestant missionaries founded settlements in the Lake Nyasa area, while the British established the African Lakes Company in 1877, to trade in the greater region. Britain also turned its sights upon Portuguese territory, making a preposterous claim to part of Delgoa Bay, near the major Portuguese town of Louren? Marques (today Maputo), although this bid was dismissed by arbitration in 1875. These developments had deeply surprised and alarmed Portugal, as Britain, gripped by lust for natural resources wealth, was transomed from being its oldest ally into a ravenous and unpredictable foe ? the infamous ?Perfidious Albion?. To protect its position, since 1869, Lisbon commissioned several expeditions deep the into the heart of Southern Africa, with the objective of claiming the vast region that lay between Angola and Mozambique as a Portuguese zone. The most important of these missions was Alexandre de Serpa Pinto?s 1877-8 crossing the continent. Portugal?s fears intensified when Britain unsuccessfully sought the annex the Afrikaner republics, fighting against the ZAR during the First Anglo-Boer Wear (1880-1). At the Berlin Conference (1884-5), whereby the European powers divided Africa between themselves, Portugal was given clear title to coastal Angola and Mozambique, while the fate of the interior regions was left up in the air. The Conference held that the future colonial control of undesignated areas would be determined by reasons of historical discovery and recent exploration. Consequently, both Britain and Portugal intensified their exploration activities in what is today Zimbabwe and Zambia, while Britain expanded its presence in the Lake Nyasa area. In 1886, the Portuguese government commissioned the Mapa cor-de-rosa, known in English as the ?Pink Map? (discussed below), the predecessor the present work, whereby Lisbon unambiguously declared its possession of virtually all of what is today Zimbabwe and much of Zambia and Malawi. Portugal?s move did not go unnoticed in London, whereby Whitehall stiffened its resolve. Indeed, British interests in Southern Africa dramatically increased due to the discovery of the world?s largest gold deposits in the Witwatersrand region of the ZAR, which occurred that same year. In 1888, the soon-to-be legendary Cecil Rhodes, formed the British South Africa Company, with a mandate to colonize what is today Zimbabwe and Zambia (soon to become ?Rhodesia?), which were thought to be home to vast mineral wealth. He also envisioned the creation of a British colonial domain that would someday extend uninterrupted from the ?Cape to Cairo?, connected by a railway. The British Prime Minister Lord Salisbury, egged on by colonial grandees, made a bold and what many consider a very ?rude? move. He issued the ?1890 British Ultimatum?, whereby Britain directly threatened Portugal with military consequences unless it agreed to relinquish its claims to the interior regions between Angola and Mozambique. This was totally against international law and the diplomatic dispute mechanisms ordained by the Berlin Conference. The Portuguese government was shocked by this betrayal at the hands of their oldest ally. However, it simply had no choice but to comply, initially agreeing to the Treaty of London (August 20, 1890). In this proposed accord, Portugal would surrender its claims to all of what is today Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi to Britain, plus ceding some lands that were commonly considered to be parts of Mozambique proper. At the end of August 1890, the treaty provisions were made public, sparking a furore among the Portuguese people of an intensity that had not been seen in three generations. The Portuguese people had deep emotional and economic attachment to what were their last remaining major colonies, and felt betrayed by their own government, seen the London treaty as an intolerable humiliation. The backlash was fierce, causing the Portuguese parliamentary government to collapse, while doing permanent damage to the monarchy (indeed the 1910 Republican Revolution that toppled the crown held the outrage over the 1890 treaty as one of its leading causes). Portugal thus did not ratify the accord, while even many leading figures in London believed that the treaty?s terms were unnecessarily harsh against Portugal. Both sides went back the negotiating table. The Anglo-Portuguese Treaty of 1891 (June 11) was agreed by both powers, and included an improved settlement for Portugal, although the overall result remained that Britain was to gain title to ?Rhodesia?, forever killing the notion of linking Angola with Mozambique in all-Portuguese band running across Southern Africa. Specifically, the treaty awarded valuable additional territory to Mozambique north of the Zambesi River, while Britain was given Manicaland (in today?s Zimbabwe). The treaty?s geographical provisions are represented upon the present map. While the settlement fell well short of Portugal?s ambitions, it at least guaranteed both Mozambique and Angola ample inland territory, while presumably eliminating threat of future British aggression. While the boundaries ordained by the 1891 treaty would need to be surveyed, and an amendment to the line running through the Manica Plateau needed to be settled by arbitration in 1897, the borders depicted upon the present map between the British and Portuguese territories would endure. As Britain had essentially gotten what it wanted, it returned to being Portugal?s steadfast ally and protector, and the two nations notably fought together during World War I to fend off (albeit with great difficulty) the German General Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck?s amazingly vigorous invasion of British East Africa, Mozambique and Rhodesia. Portugal would continue to rule Angola and Mozambique until 1975. The Present Map in Focus The present map is extremely important to the history of Angola and Mozambique, as it is the official Portuguese map that confirms those countries? overall modern boundaries with what it today Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi (noting that only Mozambique borders Zambia and Malawi), pursuant the Anglo-Portuguese Treaty of 1891. The resolution thus imbues Angola and Mozambique with ample interior territories, with Mozambique gaining an improved settlement over the aborted 1890 accord. The map likewise served to confirm Britain?s control over what was shortly to become Rhodesia and Nyasaland. The map was created by the Comiss? de Cartografia, the special geographic burau established in Lisbon, in 1883, by the Portuguese Ministry of the Navy and the Colonies to map the country?s overseas possessions to the highest scientific standards. The map embraces a broad band of Southern Africa, from just beyond 26? S up to 2? S, and includes all of Angola and Mozambique, shown coloured in pink, while the newly confirmed British territories (soon to be Rhodesia, Nyasaland), connecting to the British Cape Colony through Bechuanaland, are coloured in green. German Southwest Africa (Namibia, orange), appears on the lower left; the Afrikaner ZAR (yellow), appears in the lower right; German East Africa (Tanganyika, Tanzania), coloured in orange, is in the upper right; while the Congo Free State (Belgian Congo), occupies the upper centre. Notably, the map carefully labels the domains of the various native tribes that still controlled most of the territory on the ground. The map very clearly delineates the Mozambique-Rhodesia/Nyasaland border, while the less controversial Angola-Rhodesia border is shown in an amorphous form (with dashed lines), although it largely conforms to what would be later recognized as the frontier. The map carefully charts all coastlines, while rivers are delineated as best as possible, while indicating that the courses of conjectural streams (represented by dashed lines), while hachures note areas of elevation, with spot heights given for major peaks). Notably, the knowledge of the interior regions of Angola and Mozambique is shown to be quite well-known. The ?Legenda?, in the lower-left corner, provides the symbols used to identify, railways (built, under construction and planned); explains the colour-coding of the various colonial possession by nationalities; plus, labels district capitals, military outposts and ?povoa?o? (villages, noting whether major of minor). Importantly, the legend explains the various forms of red lines that chart the routes of several named Portuguese explorers who ventured into the interior of Southern Africa, with an emphasis on recent endeavours. This inclusion of this information is critical, as it rhetorically suggests that Portugal not only had a just claim to the lands coloured pink on the map, but ?morally? also deserved much more territory in what would become British Rhodesia and Nyasaland. The overall picture indicates that Portugal had not only colonized its traditional coastal enclaves, but was an activist, ambitious power with a broad reach into the heart of Southern Africa. The inset in the upper left-hand corner of the composition depicts all of Africa and shows the routes of Portuguese packet (mail) steamships between Lisbon and Angola and Mozambique, as well as the routes of submarine telegraph cables. The map is the third and final, issue of a sequence of maps created by the Comiss? de Cartografia to define the boundaries of Angola and Mozambique and to showcase Portuguese exploration activities in Southern Africa. All issues of the map sequence were printed from the same updated lithographic template and were published in Paris by the venerable firm of Erhard Fr?es, as while it was quite possible to make such maps in Lisbon, this arrangement was much more cost effective, while Erhard had stellar international marketing connections. The first issue of the sequence was the Carta das Possessòes Portuguezas da Africa Meridional (Paris: Erhard Fr?es, 1886), popularly known as the ?Mapa cor-de-rosa?, (Rose-Coloured Map), or the ?Pink Map? in English, which was as one of the most famous and controversial maps of any part of Africa ever created. Please see a link: Here, Portugal?s domains are shown to extend in an uninterrupted form from Angola to Mozambique, taking in most of Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi (otherwise claimed by Britain), all coloured in pink. The map, with Portugal?s bold clams, served as a ?red flag? to British imperial diehards, who pressured their government to threaten Portugal to abandon its ambitions and to cede the heart of Southern Africa to Britain. The resulting Treaty of London of August 20, 1890 promised Britain what it wanted ? and more. These boundaries were showcased upon the second map in the sequence, the Carta das Possessòes Portuguezas da Africa Meridional segundo o Projecto de Tratado de 20 de Agosto de 1890. Coordenada por A.A. d?Oliveira (Paris: Erhard Fr?es, 1890). However, Portugal ended up rejecting the 1890 treaty, causing Britain to offer concessions towards augmenting Mozambique?s boundaries during the Anglo-Portuguese Treaty of 1891, which was confirmed by both parties. The present Carta das Possess?s Portuguezas da Africa Meridional Segundo as conven?es celebradas em 1891 is the official Portuguese cartographic rendering of the treaty provisions which defined Mozambique and Angola?s boundaries with respect to the relevant adjacent territories up the to present day. Curiously, the 1891 map is classified as the ?2? Edi?o? (Second Edition), correcting the 1890 issue. A Note on Rarity While we can trace as much as a dozen or so examples of the map in institutional collections worldwide, the map is very rare on the commercial market; we cannot trace any sales records, at least going back 30 years. The present example of the map features the seller?s handstamp of ?Ferin & C?.?, in the lower right margin, referring to the Livraria Ferin, of Lisbon, which, founded in 1840, still operates as Portugal?s second oldest bookshop. Ferin was the official commercial distributor of the map in Portugal. References: Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal: cc-114-a; Biblioth?ue nationale de France, d?artement Cartes et plans, GED-1411; Cambridge University: Maps.aa.472.89.1 OCLC: 495102273, 84707274. .
Last updated: Feb 4, 2022