Catalog Archive
Auction 145, Lot 293

"[2 Volumes] Histoire de la Revolution d'Amerique, par Rapport a la Caroline Meridionale…", Ramsay, David

Subject: South Carolina, Virginia

Period: 1787 (published)


Color: Black & White

5 x 8 inches
12.7 x 20.3 cm
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A beautiful French edition of this very uncommon Revolutionary War book by David Ramsay. During the war the British made one last major effort in 1780-81, invading South Carolina (and remote Georgia) in the hopes of rallying enough Loyalists to break off the southern states. Realizing they had failed, the British moved their army to Yorktown, Virginia where, after succumbing to Washington and his army along with the French army, the opposing sides met to draft the Articles of Capitulation surrendering York and Gloucester to the victorious Continental Army.

This edition contains five folding maps engraved by Picquet including Plan du Siege d'York et de Gloucester par les Armees Alliees en Septembre et Octobre 1781 (7.8 x 8.4"). This map shows fine detail of what was the last major battle. It depicts the positions of the forces involved, including a key to the precise positioning of British warships. Headquarters of the principals are located, including those of Washington, La Fayette, Rochambeau and Clinton.

Another important map in the volume is Caroline Meridionale, avec les Parties Adjacentes, pour Servir a l'Intelligence des Mouvemens des Armees Americaines et Britanniques (16.3 x 14.3"). It shows the major rivers and streams but little other topographical information. The map instead focuses on the military action of the war with various battles, advances, routes and retreats noted by means of dotted lines. In the west is a boundary marked Anciennes Limites des Cherokees, and further west another boundary isolates a couple of Villes basses des Cherokees.

The other maps are Plan de la Situation et des Stations des Vaisseaux Britanniques...(6.3 x 11.5"), Equisse des Operations du Siege de Charleston...(11 x 13.8"), and Plan du Havre de Charleston, Montrant la Disposition de la Flotte Britannique... (11.3 x 6.3").

David Ramsay was one of the first major historians of the American Revolution, where he participated as a field commander and surgeon. He was twice elected to the Continental Congress from South Carolina. Two volumes (520 pp. and 673 pp.) in full calf with gilt title and embossing on raised spine with marbled endpapers.

References: Howes #R36; Wheat & Brun #597; Nebenzahl (Biblio) #84 & #85.

Condition: A

Maps and text are very clean and bright. The large map, Caroline Meridionale, has some light unobtrusive offsetting. Covers and spine have minor wear but are still very good.

Estimate: $2,200 - $2,500

Sold for: $1,800

Closed on 6/12/2013