The Earliest Obtainable Plan of New York.
This map of the Fortress of New York was prepared by Bellin based upon an inset on Jean Baptiste-Louis Franquelin's map of 1693, which was originally prepared when France and England were at war and New Yorkers feared attack by the French.
It is believed that the map derived from a French Privateer named John Reaux, who is known to have become a naturalized citizen of New York in 1692.
The map shows a heavily fortified city and fort at the confluence of the Hudson and North Rivers.
While there are several earlier maps of New York City which were produced in New York, they are virtually unobtainable. Augustyn & Cohen remark that this is the earliest plan of New York which is obtainable by collectors (p.50-51).
This is the second state, with "Tome I, No. 33" in the upper-right corner.
Jacques-Nicolas Bellin (1703-1772) was among the most important mapmakers of the eighteenth century. In 1721, at age 18, he was appointed hydrographer (chief cartographer) to the French Navy. In August 1741, he became the first Ingénieur de la Marine of the Depot des cartes et plans de la Marine (the French Hydrographic Office) and was named Official Hydrographer of the French King.
During his term as Official Hydrographer, the Depot was the single most active center for the production of sea charts and maps, including a large folio format sea-chart of France, the Neptune Francois. He also produced a number of sea-atlases of the world, e.g., the Atlas Maritime and the Hydrographie Francaise. These gained fame, distinction, and respect all over Europe and were republished throughout the 18th and even in the succeeding century.
Bellin also came out with smaller format maps such as the 1764 Petit Atlas Maritime, containing 580 finely detailed charts. He also contributed many of the maps for Bellin and contributed a number of maps to the 15-volume Histoire Generale des Voyages of Antoine François Prévost or simply known l'Abbe Prevost.
Bellin set a very high standard of workmanship and accuracy, thus gaining for France a leading role in European cartography and geography. Many of his maps were copied by other mapmakers of Europe.