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A scarce and highly detailed miniature map of the Guadeloupe, West Indies, made following the seizure of the island by British forces in 1759.

This finely-engraved map depicts the island of Guadeloupe during the Seven Years' (or French & Indian) War. Guadeloupe had since the 1630s been one of France's prize colonial possessions, producing vast revenues from sugar that greatly enriched the French noblility and merchant class. Britain and France has been officially at war since 1756, and British War Minister William Pitt selected the island as one of his main objectives of invasion. On January 22, 1759, a force under Major-General Peregrine Hopson laid siege to the French garrison at Basse-Terre, which is shown on the map's inset, as the 'Plan du Fort de la Guadeloupe'. While the French were driven from the town, they continued fighting in the mountains. As noted at the bottom of the map, the British defeated the main French force on April 13, 1759, but did not succeed in routing out the small bands of French hold-outs until May 1 of that year. The British subsequently conquered the other nearby French imperial jewel of Martinique in 1762. The British returned both islands to France in exchange for Quebec at the Treaty of Paris (1763). Save for short intervals, Guadeloupe remains a part of France to this day. The 'Renvois', or key, at the bottom of the map lists the island's 10 parishes.

While the map is of a modest size, the quality of the engraving and detial of the presentation provides a surprisingly thorough overview. This map was issued by 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 larger piece of paper and bound into a made-to-order atlas.

Condition Description
Copper-engraved map, trimmed to neatline and mounted on a larger piece of paper with gilt-edges, as issued.
Phillips, 'Atlases', no.2813