A plan of New York Island, part of Long Island, &c. : shewing the position of the American and British armies before, at, and after the engagement on the Heights, Aug. 27th, 1776
Drawn By: Samuel Lewis
Date: 1807 (published) Philadelphia
Dimensions: 16.5 x 10.25 inches (42 x 26 cm)
This is a very fine example of Samuel Lewis's map of the Battle of New York, also know as the Battle of Brooklyn and Battle of Long Island. Following the American victory in the Siege of Boston, the English mobilized the largest offensive the Colonist had ever seen and successfully captured New York, utilizing as a base of operations until the fall of 1783.
The map centers on Manhattan Island and extends south to include about half of Staten island and north just beyond Fort Independence. Lewis offers a clean depiction of the primary military positions and events of the Battle. In this map, he shows the assembled British fleet in York's Bay and just offshore from Brooklyn. The Americans forces are entrenched on Long Island and Manhattan. After initial landing of British forces, they employed a calculated series of diversionary thrusts, flanking, and offensive maneuvers that routed the Continental Army and would force a retreat from Manhattan Island. Then entire series of events shown in the map spans from August 22nd to September 3rd, 1776.
About the Battle of Long Island
Following the victory over the British in the siege of Boston on March 17, General George Washington relocated the Continental Army port city of New York in order to establish defenses from an imminent attack by the Bristish Royal Nay. John Adams described New York as the "Key to the whole continents," for which “no effort to secure it ought to be omitted.” Washington's British counterpart, General William Howe understood this well and during the months of July and August, July and August, General Howe established greatest British expeditionary force of the 18th century on Staten Island, effectively transforming it into the second largest city in North America. According to one account by an American soldier on duty at the Battery in Manhattan, the harbor appeared so crammed with ships that he “thought all London was afloat.”
As stated in the title, the map focuses on the main day of engagement, Auguest 27, 1776. In total, approximately 30,000 men were involved in the battle, 10,000 Americans and 20,000 British. By the end of the battle and following skirmishes, there were 2,000 American casualties to 358 on the side of the BritishIn no more than three days, General William Howe and his forces has taken New York and the surrounding Islands in the name of the crown. In fact, the American forces could have suffered a near total inhalation when pinned with their backs to the East River, a well timed fog and favorable wind provided the opportunity for evacuation of Manhattan Island by boat. The British would hold the city for much of the remainder of the war until the Americans would retake it in 1783.
Condition: This map is in excellent condition with superb hand coloring. Some light soiling is apparent in the top left portion. Right margin is narrow, but complete with no loss to the map image.
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