1775 Map of the Environs of Boston in June 1775
By: J. Almon
Date: 1775 (dated)
Dimensions: 8.5 x 10.25 inches (21.6 cm x 26.04 cm)
This remarkable map of Boston was based on a map drawn in Boston in June of 1775, probably just a few days before the Battle of Bunker Hill, and published in London by an act of Parliament on 28 August 1775. It is a fine example of one of the earliest obtainable maps relating to the American Revolution, immediately following the arrival in London of the original drawing of the American Siege of Boston Harbor. The depiction of Boston proper shows the city as an island linked to the mainland via a narrow causeway. No street detail is given, but the Common, Mill Pond and Long and Hancock’s Wharves are identified, along with fortifications both on the mainland and on nearby islands.
Almon's plan depicts the military situation in the early stages of the American siege of British-occupied Boston. Among the military details shown are Washington’s headquarters in Cambridge; fortifications at either end of Boston Neck; the camps and lines of Generals Israel Putnam and Artemas Ward; Copp’s, North, and South Batteries in Boston proper, and ships and batteries surrounding Charlestown. Roads are noted and named such as Road to Cambridge in two locations, Road to Salem, Road to Dorchester, etc. The map shows the tense state of affairs that prevailed in the days before the Battle of Bunker Hill on June 17, 1775.
On that day the British successfully assaulted the American positions on Breeds Hill (shown on the map), but suffered such great losses that the 'victory' was considered to by Pyrrhic in nature, and the British remained besieged within the city proper, with only a tenuous seaborn connection to the outside world. The siege lasted until March 1776, when on the night of the 4th the American army fortified Dorchester Heights to the south, giving them command of both the town and its harbor approaches. A planned British assault on the Heights was called off due to bad weather, and the city was evacuated on March 17, 1776.
John Almon (1737-1805) was one of the leading British journalists of the late 18th-century. The map was published in the August 1775 issue of John Almon’s publication, The Remembrancer was one of the many monthly journals combining literary reprints, original contributions and news that proliferated in mid-18th century England. Published from 1775 to 1784, The Remembrancer had a small circulation, whose maps were described as nearly unobtainable. This fine map with its myriad details is a must-have for collectors interested in the War of Independence, as it depicts Boston and the surrounding area replete with military positions, on the eve, all in great detail.
Condition: This map is in A condition. Minor separations at fold lines have been expertly repaired with archival material on the verso.
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