Highly important survey map of New York, produced by Claude Joseph Sauthier and published by William Faden in London in 1779.
Sauthier's map is the last and best large-scale British Survey map of an American colony. Drawn on a scale of five miles to the inch, it is the most detailed printed map of any extensive part of North America published during the Revolutionary period.
Claude Joseph Sauthier was one of the most accomplished engineers working in America in the eighteenth century. Alsatian by birth, he accompanied Governor William Tryon to North Carolina in 1769. He surveyed several North Carolina towns and designed the Governor's Mansion at New Bern before accompanying Tryon to New York in 1771. He subsequently conducted many surveys of New York and during the Revolution he served as a military engineer producing a number of fine maps for the British Army. A number of Sauthier's printed and manuscript maps, including an example of the present map, can be found in the collection formed by Sir Henry Clinton, Commander of the British Forces in North America, 1775-1782, now preserved at the William L. Clements Library in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
After establishing himself in New York with Tryon, Sauthier was commissioned to produce a survey from New York to Quebec and using the work of Bernard Ratzer along with his own surveys, he produced a 3 sheet manuscript map, which was published as 'A Map of the Province of New York' by William Faden in 1776, on the day of the Declaration of Independence. . Sauthier's map integrated details taken from Bernard Ratzer's survey of New Jersey with his own survey work.
As war broke out he was made military surveyor and New York was in a most strategic location. Not only was the city the headquarters of British occupation during the conflict but the province would see much of the conflict, as control of the Hudson River was seen to be pivotal. It could drive a wedge between New England and the southern colonies. More accurate mapping was required and Sauthier set about the task, particularly in regions less well known, such as the Catskills and further upstate. Sauthier continued to improve his great manuscript during the first years of the Revolution and in 1779 it was published, again by Faden but greatly enlarged on six sheets, as A Chorographical Map ....
The Chorographical Map contains a vast amount of information lacking from the 1776 map, particularly in upstate New York, the Catskills and what would become Vermont. A note on the Chorographical Map states that, "the Mohawk Valley and County of Tryon are Laid down according to an Actual Survey and other Manuscripts generously communicated by Governor Pownall." The grand scale, which was almost three times that of the 1776 map, also allowed for the inclusion of many previously omitted details in the more settled areas. The result is an amazing record of New York from the Revolutionary War period.
The map is without question the finest record of Colonial New York during the Revolution and a monumental work in the history of the cartography of New York State.