THE MOST IMPORTANT 18th CENTURY CHART OF NARRAGANSETT BAY
From: "A Topographical Chart of the Bay of Narraganset in the Province of New England with all the Isles contained therein, among which Rhode Island and Connonicut have been particularly surveyed"
Plate size: 24 3/4 x 36 1/2 inches; Paper size: 25 1/2 x 39 inches
Engraved and printed for Wm (William) Faden, 1777
This elegant Revolutionary War-era British military map is the most important eighteenth-century chart of Narraganset Bay. Showing both topographical and hydrographical detail, the map was the result of a survey by Charles Blaskowitz, a skilled British military surveyor who was assigned by Samuel Holland in 1764 to chart the coast of Rhode Island to determine if the harbor of Newport could be used as a British naval base. Blaskowitz later seems to have been commissioned by an additional party to survey the area, for the title of his map notes that it was "taken by the order of the principal farmers on Rhode Island." There is some evidence that Blaskowitz was paid by the Rhode Island farmers to create a map for their purposes in 1771, which he then simply redrew, adding the positions of the defensive batteries, and sold to the British in 1777. In either case, this map was published in London by William Faden, the successor of Thomas Jefferys, in that year.
Recognized for its excellence in detail, the chart was used by the British during the later part of their occupation of Newport in 1776 to 1778, and for deployment of their ships in the bay during the Revolutionary War. The map identifies settlements on the bay islands and the adjacent mainland, locates forts, batteries, the principal farms of Rhode Island, Brown College in Providence, and Newport; it also shows the harbors, capes, points, bays, islands, soundings, shoals and hazards of Narraganset Bay. Blaskowitz's topographical chart was a prototype for all subsequent maps of the bay.
Offered at $35,000.