Important Revolutionary War Battle Plan of New York - Manhattan & Westchester County
Fine old color example of William Faden's Revolutionary War Plan of the Battle of New York, published in London in 1777.
The map illustrates Howe's New York campaign, with the landing on Long Island, the victory in the battle of Long Island, and pursuit of the American forces north to Fort Washington. The present example is the second state of the map, with additional place names and the addition of 5 ships off Enoch Point and Sarak Island (including the Tartar, Phenix and Roebuck).
Nebenzhal describes the map as:
the most accurate published delineation of the movements of the armies of Washington and Howe in Westchester, from the time of the British landing through November 28, particularly focusing on the Battle of White Plains.
Faden's map illustrates an important early battle during the American Revolution, when the American success and resolve were far from certain. The map was drawn from the work of a British military engineer, Claude Joseph Sauthier, who participated in the campaigns. Nebenzahl calls the map one of the "most informative" of all the early Revolutionary War battle plans. It was printed in London, a remarkably short period of time after the events depicted on it transpired-a matter of just a few months.
The plan shows the period when the American army, still hurting from its defeat on Manhattan Island in September of 1776, was retreating to Westchester. The vastly superior British forces were in pursuit, looking for the opportunity to crush the American army and end the war. The campaign involved complex amphibious landings by the British in the Bronx and Westchester, reprising the type of maneuvers that led to the overwhelming success of the British in the Battle of Brooklyn.
Faden's map depicts the various campaigns of October and November 1776, in northern Manhattan, lower Westchester, and New Jersey. Clearly delineated are British and Hessian troop landings in the area of Mamaroneck, Larchmont, New Rochelle, Pelham Manor, and the Bronx. Also shown is Cornwallis' capture of Fort Lee, and the beginning of his pursuit of Washington's army through New Jersey, that would end in Washington's storied crossing of the Delaware River.
The Battle of White Plains, could easily have ended the war, as Washington had massed most of his army. The battle was fought to a relative standstill, due to the skill of American soldiers fighting from good defensive positions and to the disinclination of General Howe to aggressively pursue the engagement after early successes. The British failed to consolidate their gains and Washington's Army lived to fight another day.
A fine wide margined example of this important Revolutionary War battle map.
William Faden (1749-1836) was a prominent London mapmaker and publisher. He worked in close partnership with the prolific Thomas Jeffreys from 1773 to 1776. In 1783, Faden assumed ownership of the Jeffreys firm and was named Geographer to the King in the same year. Faden specialized in depictions of North America and also commanded a large stock of British county maps, which made him attractive as a partner to the Ordnance Survey; he published the first Ordnance map in 1801. The Admiralty also admired his work and acquired some of his plates which were re-issued as official naval charts. After retiring in 1823 the lucrative business passed to James Wyld, a former apprentice.