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The Seaport of Fredericksburg, Virginia

Rare view of the entrance to the port of Fredericksburg, Virginia, engraved by Claude Joseph Vernet in London.

Vernet's separately published views were offered for sale individually and in albums. His American views are largely fanciful in nature, but very rare.

The view is fascinating, albeit completely fantasy.  Fredericksburg is at the head of the navigable waters of the Rappahannock River and was in fact an important 18th Century American port. From the founding of Fredericksburg in 1728, the Rappahannock River played a major role in the transportation of goods such as timber, flour and corn as well as passengers.  During the late 18th century, the waterfront underwent a transformation from an informal scattering of individual docks into an organized wharf complex, although clearly not resembling the image shown here.


This is the first time we have seen this view offered for sale.