An Authentic Plan of the River St.Laurence from Sillery to the Fall of Montmorenci...

An Authentic Plan of the River St.Laurence from Sillery to the Fall of Montmorenci...



Published 1759, London

Size: 12 7/8" X 18 5/8"


A beautiful rare first state of the depiction of the famous and pivotal battle of the Plains of Abraham that occurred in September 1759 and changed the geopolitical landscape of North America.  It has been said that this plan is “widely considered to be the most important single printed military map in Canadian history.”  It was published in The natural and civil history of the French dominions in North and South America. .. Engraved by T. Jefferys, Geographer to his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. Part I. Containing a description of Canada and Louisiana. London. by Thomas Jefferys (1719-1771), the leading British cartographer of his era, and who is credited with spearheading London’s ascendency as the world’s premier map centre during the second half of the 18th-century.
As such, Jefferys’ battle plan is one of the first depictions to be printed in London after the successful siege of Quebec that helped bring about the fall of the French forces in North America and thus end the Seven Year’s War
All of the main scenes of action surrounding the British siege are shown, including the abortive attack on Beauport, the British headquarters at Levis and the site of the decisive Battle of the Plains of Abraham. Interestingly, each vessel of the British fleet, under the overall command of Admiral Saunders, appears in pictographic form, with the names of each ship labeled.   This battle plan was considered to be the most authoritative geographical depiction of this momentous series of events and was used as the source map for many other publications printed in London.
It is important to note that the British public would have been quite interested in the military events occurring in North America as it was crucial to the outcome of the Seven Year’s War.  Thus, with the fall of Louisboug in 1758 and with the capitulation of Quebec on September 13th 1759, the way was open for Britain to proceed onwards to Montreal and obtain the last bastion of French resistance in North America.  With this decisive victory, North America would become British and western American expansion could commence unimpeded by another European power.
It is also worth noting that the British victory over Quebec rested on their ability to navigate their fleet through one of the most treacherous bodies of water on the St-Laurence River, an area known as the Traverse.  The British were able to accomplish this feet as a result of the surveying efforts of James Cook and Samuel Holland that led to their famous chart A New Chart of the Rivers St-Laurence… published in 1759.
The siege of Quebec, that this plan depicts, is thus a reminder of the events that led to a key moment in North American, and in world history in general, of the18th Century.


(Sources: Kershaw, 1016, BLR item 35949)