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Description

Rare separately issued broadside, which includes the first printed reference to George Washington. Printed in London by Henry Overton Jr., the broadside was intended to provide the British public with news of the recent skirmishes between the French and English in the American Colonies and inflame the English public to the reported French "depredations" in the Colonies.

The map shows the British colonies from North Carolina into Canada, including the Great Lakes. The text panels describe the actions of a 22-year old Lieutenant Colonel George Washington in a battle with the French along the Ohio River, near modern day Pittsburgh. The site of this battle (marked with crossed swords), along with the note "Here C. Washington engag'd ye French 1754," appears at the confluence of the Yonongahela and Youghiogheny rivers. A contemporary account of the Battle of Jumonville Glen, as it came to be called, is set forth in the side text, along with a vitriolic rant against the French encroachments and other improper actions in the region. The Battle of Jumonville is generally considered to be the first battle of the French and Indian War.

As noted on page 122 of "Washington As Surveyor And Map-Maker" (Philip Lee Phillips, Chief, Division of Maps, Library of Congress) in Daughters of the American Revolution Magazine (Vol LV, No. 3, March 1921), pp 115-133:

The [map] "An accurate of the English Colonies in America, bordering on the River Ohio," measuring 13 1/2 by 18 1/2 inches with border, is the earliest literary production in which Washington is mentioned. Scanning the map you will find noted between the "Ohio or Bell River" and the "Monongohela R," the statement, "Here C. Washington engag'd ye French, 1754." The "C" evidently is an abbreviation of "Colonel." The map is bordered on each side by an historical statement in which Washington figures. . .

As noted by Phillips above, Overton's broadside map is the first printed map to show George Washington's name in print and the earliest printed reference to George Washington of any kind. This is the second state of the map, with the title changed from "English Colonies" to "British Colonies" and slight revision to the advertising and credit section of the text at the bottom right corner of the broadside. The broadside is undated, and while it is not possible to determine the exact date of publication, it was almost certainly issued in the Fall of 1754, as a reduced version of the map (without text at the sides or reference to Washington in the map itself) was issued in the Universal Magazine in December, 1754, unquestionably based upon Overton's map.

Overton's map, detailing in text and on its face Washington's first military command, provides one of the earliest pieces of the mountainous public record which Washington would ultimately leave as well as being very important contemporary documentation of the beginning of the French and Indian War.

The first edition is known to be held by the John Carter Brown Library and the Library of Congress. The second edition is held by the John Carter Brown Library and Library of Congress (lacking text panels). Yale would also appear to have a copy of the second edition.

Condition Description
Several minor tears. Backed with Japan paper.