A rare map sheet featuring 4 finely engraved miniature French & Indian War Battle Plans: Quebec, Ft. Carillon, Oswego and Ft. William Henry, with explanatory text.
This rare composition features 4 diminutive maps with lengthy explantory text showcasing some of the highlights of Seven Years' or French & indian War (1756-63), a contest which pitted France versus Great Britain for the domination of North America. The war resulted in the Treaty of Paris (1763) and a complete British victory, with the French being essentially expelled from North America. That being said, many of the early battles went in France's favor.
The map in the upper left features Quebec City, which since 1608 have been the captial of French North America. The city had been taken by the British following the epic Battle of the Plains of Abraham, in September 1759. However, what many have long overlooked is that during the winter which ensued the British hold on Quebec was tenuous at best. Running dangeorusly low on supplies, the British were always vulnerable to attack from the French who controlled much of the surrounding countryside. The French forces in the region were also in desperate need of resupply, and this created an uneasy stalemate - with the British essentually unable to mount an effective defense if attacked, while the French were too weak to attack! Both sides knew that the first side to receive supplies from Europe in the spring would possess Quebec City. Fortune shined on the British, as their resupply vessel was the first to clear the ice on the St. Lawrence in early April.
Thus, this map shows the Second Battle of Quebec of April 18, 1760, where the renergized British fought off an attack mounted by the French. The British retained Quebec City and later that year took Montreal, thus gaining permanent control of New France (Quebec). The key or 'Renvois' to the right labels 22 locations around the city and the battle site.
The second map, in the lower left, refers to the Battle of Oswego (New York), fought on August 10-14, 1756. The British had maintained a series of fortifications at the mouth of the Oswego River (called the Riviere Chouaquen by the French) along the south shore of Lake Ontario. The French, under the Marquis de Montcalm, attacked the forts and routed the British. However, they would abandon the Oswego forts in 1758, fearing attack from superior British forces in the region.
The third map, in the upper right features the Battle of Fort Carillon (later called Fort Ticonderoga), fought on July 8, 1758. The fort, which strategically guarded the southern end of Lake Champlain, was held by the French under the Marquis de Montcalm. A larger British force under General James Abercrombie invested the fort, but was caught up in defensive constructs made of spiked logs called abatis. The British were driven off with heavy losses. The following year, in July 1759, the French abandoned the fort, as they realized that their position was untenable in the face of a British army of over 11,000 men.
The fourth map, in the lower right, refers to the Siege of Fort William Henry, which occured on August 3-9, 1757. The British fort, lcoated strategically at the southern end of Lake George, New York, was invested by a larger French and Native American force. After heavy fighting the British surrendered and instead of being taken as prisoners of war, they were allowed to retreat south with their colors. While the British made their march they were savagely attacked by the Native American allies of the French, supposedly with the tacit approval of the Marquis de Montcalm. This 'ungentlemanly' conduct on the part of the French commander caused the British to behave in a markedly severe manner towards the French as the war progressed.
This map was issued by the promient French cartographer Jean de Beaurain in 1765, both to serve as one of the border illustations added to his great wall map recording the events of the Seven Years' War, the Carte de Allemagne... (1765), and, as is the case here, as a separately-issued map, mounted on a larger piece of paper and bound into a made-to-order atlas.
The map sheet is rare and is an especially impressive example of the genre of miniature cartogragphy.