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The Most Important Map of The British Colony of New York on the Eve of the American Revolution, With Revisions Added By The French For Use During the American Revolution.

Fine example of the George Louis Le Rouge edition of John Montressor's monumental map of New York State.

The years between the end of the French and Indian War and the start of the Revolution were a period of tremendous mapmaking in their American colonies. One of the most important regions was the area between the St. Lawrence River and the Hudson River and Long Island, an area which would also see significant military activity in both wars.

John Montresor's very large map is printed on four sheets and depicts this region as well as substantial portions of New York, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Montressor's map is the largest scale map of its time for the region. Its purpose was military rather than civilian use, with considerable emphasis on features affecting mobility: The regional network of roads, lakes, rivers and streams is quite detailed, while elevations are depicted effectively by means of hachuring, particularly in the Hudson and Mohawk River valleys. The map also delineates the boundaries of land patents in the Hudson Valley and towns in western New England as well as the locations of forts, farms, and various interpretations of the disputed New York – New Jersey boundary (which Montresor helped survey in 1771).

Captain John Montresor was an accomplished military surveyor in the American Colonies, beginning with service during the French and Indian War and not concluding until 1778, by which point he was Chief Engineer in North America. In the mid-1760s he was based in New York City as a senior engineer reporting to General Gage, Commander in Chief of British forces in North America.

In the tumultuous years prior to the Revolution, he was ordered by Gage to compile a map of New York City and its environs and a map of the Province of the New York. Though essentially complete by 1766, the resulting map was not published until 1775, with a revised edition appearing in 1777. Offered here is a French edition by George Louis le Rouge, probably issued in the Atlas Americain Septentrional (1778). It is closely copied from the first English edition with minor additions reflecting events during the New York campaign of 1776.

Montresor's map is based only in part on his own surveys, particularly in the areas around New York City and the New York,– New Jersey, border. The sources and improvements from prior maps are too numerous to describe. Montressor's depictions of the Hudson Valley and Lake Champlain drew respectively on the work of Samuel Holland and William Brasier. Southern New England and Long Island are copied closely from an early state of Jefferys' Map of the Most Inhabited Part of New England (1755). In keeping with what is known of Montresor's combative and jealous character, his map credits none of these sources: the title of the English edition states only that it is "from an actual survey by Captain Montrésor."

The French edition would have been utilized by French Military Officers during the American Revolution.