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THE NATION | IN BRIEF / AND FINALLY . . .

Library of Congress Buys First Map of 'America'

July 21, 2001|From Staff and Wire Reports

The first map to use the name America is coming to the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. It is buying the chart, drawn in 1507, for $10 million.

Sometimes called America's birth certificate, it's the only known copy of a map that historians say caused the hemisphere to be named for explorer Amerigo Vespucci instead of Columbus.

The library said a $500,000 down payment has been made to the owner, German Prince Johannes Waldburg-Wolfegg, in whose castle it was found in 1901. Historians had long thought it had been lost.

The map consists of 12 separate sheets, which, when put together, cover 36 square feet.

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