Catalog Archive
Auction 144, Lot 62

An Important Revolutionary War Period Map

"[On 3 Sheets of 4] A Map of the Province of New York, with Part of Pensilvania, and New England. From an Actual Survey by Captain Montresor", Montresor, John

Subject: Colonial New England & Mid-Atlantic

Period: 1775 (dated)


Color: Hand Color

15.5 x 28.5 inches
39.4 x 72.4 cm
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This map, issued during the Revolutionary War era, is one of the most detailed maps of the province of New York by a British military engineer. The map was created by actual surveys by John Montresor, who was trained by his father, an engineer in the British royal army. Montresor joined the 48th Regiment and served under General Braddock during the failed campaign against Fort Duquesne in 1756. In 1765 Montresor was commissioned by General Thomas Gage to compile a map of New York City in anticipation of unrest at the close of the French and Indian War. Shortly thereafter, Montresor returned to England with several draft maps of New York and the surrounding areas, and proceeded to work with the firm of John Rocque for engraving and printing. Although his map of New York City (A Plan of the City of New-York & its Environs) was published in 1767, Montresor's map of the province did not appear until 1775. His map of New York and the surrounding provinces was critical at the outbreak of the American Revolution for providing good information on the colonies for strategic and military planning.

The map covers the area from the Connecticut River west to the Hudson River and Mohawk Valley, and from Long Island north to Lake Champlain. The map shows counties, churches, forts, manors, roads and the names of some residents among its amazing details. The northwest sheet shows extensive detail of the river systems, lakes and topography in the region, with Lake Champlain depicted in a large inset. Both northern sheets are filled with miniature trees, symbolizing the vast forested areas. Montresor's map was also one of the first to show good detail of present-day Vermont, and included an inset on the northeast sheet showing the continuation of the Connecticut River into northern Vermont, noting the White Hills. The map is dedicated to Sir Jeffrey Amherst, a general in the British Army and royal governor of Virginia from 1759 until 1768. Engraved by P. Andrews and published by Andrew Dury. This is the second state of four, with Tyionderogha or Tienderoga still located on the east bank and corrected to Ticonderoga. On three separate sheets out of four. The two right-hand sheets measure 15.5 x 28.5"; the top left sheet measures 20.8 x 28.5".

References: Pritchard & Taliaferro #45; McCorkle #775.9, Sellers & van Ee #1066; Stevens & Tree #42(b).

Condition: A

A fine impression on watermarked paper with good margins on all three sheets. There is some creasing near dedication on bottom right sheet, and very light soiling and a hint of toning on top left sheet.

Estimate: $4,000 - $5,000


Closed on 4/3/2013