Augustin Herman


1605 – 1686 (Czech-American emigrant, businessman and politician).
He left Bohemia after the battle of White Mountain and first he seated in Holland. In American territories he was first mentioned in 1633 when he, on behalf of West India Company, negotiated with Indians about a purchase of land near today’s Philadelphia. Demonstrably he lived in New Amsterdam (New York) since 1644, where he became a member of the Board of Governor Peter Stuyvesant (so-called Council of Nine). He was a pioneer of tobacco trading which he imported across the ocean into Europe. Naturally, governors are governors, therefore the cigarettes were later called Stuyvesant, not Heřman. Besides these activities Augustin Heřman also acted as trader and privateer in the Caribbean. He won himself a prestige mainly as an excellent cartographer. For Cecilius Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore, he created the first and high-quality map of Virginia and Maryland. This map was so perfect that yet seventy years after its printing in 1673 it was considered the most accurate map of these territories. He received large lands in Maryland for it, which he named „Bohemia Manor“. Last but not lest, one of the very first illustrations of New York from 1650 was a work of Heřman.

His naval life was mainly connected with the boat „La Grace“. It was her who accompanied him around the islands of the Caribbean Sea and across the Atlantic Ocean. La Grace was the most famous privateer in the early days of America. Every year she sailed to Caribbean and there, with governor’s approval, she attacked ships of enemy. Her victory over the two Spanish barks loaded with ebony, tobacco and wine near coast of Guatemala in May 1644 was the most famous one.