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Delaet

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DELAET, de-lit', Johan, Dutch scholar: geographer and historian: b. Antwerp about 1582; d. Leyden (?) near the end of 1649. Lit tle is known of his life except what he himself has occasionally set down in his own works. In 1624 he was established at Leyden and for 25 years thereafter he was busy publishing and editing books for the Elzeviers. As a director of the Dutch West India Company he had, of course, ready access to its records; while as co-patroon of Rensselaerswyck he had an especial interest in the country where his daughter, Johanna, and his son-in-law had made their home. Therefore, to popularize the knowledge of foreign lands connected with that company, he wrote his 'Nieuwe Wereldt,> which is an excellent compilation made from the works of a great number of foreign geog raphers and navigators (Leyden 1625). Five years later there appeared a second revised and enlarged edition, which contained several new maps. DeLaet's intention to give to his fellow-citizen's as perfect a description of the New World as circumstances would allow was carefully carried out, so that a Latin transla tion, apparently with some additions, and a French translation followed within the next 10 years. This was followed later by a or Yearly Account of the Proceedings of the Dutch West India Company from its beginning to 1636,' written in Dutch. Meanwhile, the Elzeviers were busily engaged in publishing a series of historical monographs on the countries of Europe and Asia, which, because of their appearance in extremly small form, were called the (Little Elzevirian Commonwealths.' In the publication of these volumnes DeLaet played no small part, so that Struve, writing about a cen tury later, says that DeLaet's must be consid ered the best of all that had appeared. The

first of these was that on England (1625), almost half of which was taken up by a Latin translation, not DeLaet's, of the (De Republica Anglorum> of Sir Thomas Smith. There fol lowed in rapid succession the works on Italy (1628), Spain (1629), France (1629), the Bel gian Confederation (1630), the Empire of the Grand Mogul or True India (1631), Persia (1633 and 1637), Portugal (1641), Poland, Lithuania, Prussia and Livonia (1642), and per haps Turkey. It was in 1643-44 that DeLaet had his famous literary controversy with his compatriot, Hugo Grotius (q.v.), on the origin of the American aborigines, in which he com pletely vanquished the great Dutch statesman and the father of international law.. DeLaet also published notable works along other lines. He edited the