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Young's Essay on Tobago
Home|Special Collections Exhibitions|Young's Essay on Tobago|Introducing the Essay|Introducing the island of Tobago, pages 3, 4 and 5 

Introducing the island of Tobago, pages 3, 4 and 5

The two images reproduced here are placed at the beginning of Young’s Essay. The first page of text proper follows these and is at the bottom of this webpage.

Chart of the West Indies, a drawing from Young's Essay showing the geographical location of the islands and hand-coloured, page 3Chart of the West Indies, page 3The chart reproduced here - like all the illustrations in the work it was made by Young - displays the position of Tobago, the Caribbean archipelago and the northern coast of South America.

Tobago is highlighted as being on the 11th parallel, significant as a marker for indicating the type of weather to be expected in Tobago; and prevalent trade winds are also highlighted.

A detailed map of the Orinoco River, a focus for one of Young’s arguments emphasising the importance of the development of the island, is also evident.

The map’s accuracy should be treated with caution, with borders on the northern coast of South America particularly questionable. However the delineation of these territories does mark their general positioning.

Tobago’s size relative to Trinidad and other islands has also been slightly exaggerated, likely due to Young attempting to emphasise Tobago’s prominence.

Map of the island of Tobago, page 4Map of the island of Tobago, page 4The map reproduced to the right shows a detailed geography of the island including rivers, mountains, the general terrain and topography.

All of the bays and rivulets mentioned in the Essay can be seen in the image - and also some natural features that are not mentioned. There are some markings in red on the image of the island indicating (potential) man-made structures, such as settlements or potential military or commercial outposts.

A scale is given to help the reader envision more accurately the total size of the island, and the precise bearings and lines of latitude and longitude are also given to provide perspective on Tobago’s relative positioning.

Features around the coast are also highlighted, including a few smaller islands of the eastern coast, such as Little Tobago, and potential hazards for ships, such as St Giles Rocks and the coral reefs.

[page 5]

Introduction

From the Chart prefixd to this Essay, the relative
situation and Bearings of the Island of Tabago will distinctly
appear.
The Map, - on however small a scale will exhibit the
extent and form of the Island, - its line of Coasts indented with
frequent Bays and Harbours, and the course of Rivers which in each
disembogue. – The Dorsal ridge of Mountains is tracd on the Map,
-but the wild and Romantic Nature of the interior Country, as
from its line of summit, 1700 feet above the level of the sea, it 
falls abruptly to form precipices on the Northside, or as it more
gradually sinks and undulates to the Southern Coast, is so varied 
with wide rocks, verdant swells of Ground, Ravines, Ridges,
and isolated Cones of Hill, covered with wildnesses of shrubbery,
or with lofty Groves, through which sparkle frequent Rivulets and occasional
cascades of water, - That the best drawings could only represent
the scenery in detail,- and no art of topography or of language 
could convey a clear and general idea of the face of country.
             Of the stations for shipping, and particularly of such, as may
contribute,- ‘ to the Commercial & Political Importance of Tobago’-
some further Account and description may be necessary

In this exhibition


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