Saturday, February 1, 2014

The West Indian Atlas, 1775

The West Indian Atlas, or a General Description of the West Indies, Thomas Jefferys, 1775, Boston Public Library.

This is a cover illustration to a collection of maps and charts of the Caribbean. At the center, near the bottom of the page, several slaves stand to the right of a series of casks. Leaning on the leftmost cask, and beside a large turtle, a sailor relaxes.

The sailor wears a round hat with narrow upturned brim and a large neckcloth. His is a simple jacket with no buttons or pockets, ending just below the waist. The petticoat trousers he wears ends just below the knee, showing off his white stockings and rectangular buckles.

In the bay beyond the sailor are a pair of boats. One by a sloop, the other by a frigate.

In both boats, the oarsmen and coxswains wear shirts tucked into breeches, trousers, or petticoat trousers, and round hats.

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