A scarce and highly detailed miniature map of the Martinique, West Indies, made following the seizure of the island by British forces in 1762.
This finely-engraved map depicts the island of Martinique during the Seven Years' (or French & Indian) War. Martinique, along with its sister island, Guadeloupe, had since the 1630s been among 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 islands as principal objectives of invasion. The British conquered Guadeloupe in 1759, before setting their sights on Martinique. In January 1762, a British force of 8,000 men under General Robert Monckton descended on the island. Fort Royal (today known as Fort-de-France), the island's capital, which is detailed on the map in an inset, fell on February 3, while the other main town, St. Pierre (also detailed in an inset), fell shortly therafter. The British returned both Martinique and Guadeloupe to France in exchange for Quebec at the Treaty of Paris (1763). Save for short intervals, Guadeloupe has remained a part of France to this day. The 'Renvois', or key, at the bottom of the map lists the 25 main sites around the island.
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.