Plan of the City and Environs of Quebec with its Siege and Blockade by the Americans from the 8th of December 1775 to the 13th of May 1776.
WILLIAM FADEN, Published 1776
Image Size: 24" X 17 1/4"
A riveting battle plan of the somewhat overlooked chapter in the unsuccessful siege attempt by the American forces on the British colony of Quebec at the onset of the American Revolution. The rare map of the battle plan of Quebec City appeared in William Faden’s The North American Atlas, published in 1777. Faden’s The North American Atlas, along with Jeffery’s The American Atlas and Des Barres’ The Atlantic Neptune are amongst the most important cartographic works of the Revolutionary era that provided servicemen and the general public alike a fascinating and important look into the geographic areas and events surrounding the American Revolution. At issue in this conflict would be the struggle for the eventual control of the the North American continent between Britain and the aspiring American colonies.
As such, the unsuccessful siege of the City of Quebec is important as it was the first major military defeat handed to the American Continental Army by British forces led by Governor Guy Carleton and local Canadian militia. The defeat was further compounded by the loss of General Richard Montgomery and the wounding of Benedict Arnold who had at the time reached the rank of brigadier general. It is also important to note that the attempted siege in its manifestation as one of the two pillars in the proposed Invasion of Canada marked the first major military campaign of the Continental Army. Although the stratagem was successful in the capture of Montreal by General Montgomery, the inability to capture Quebec proved fatal for the overall Invasion of Canada. That being said, had the siege of Quebec been successful, the overall invasion of Canada would most likely have greatly reduced the British’s ability to maintain a foothold at a major strategic junction on the St-Lawrence thus greatly limiting the military capabilities of British forces on the North American continent. Although this falls in the realm of historical conjecture, this defeat by the Continental Army followed by a successful retreat remains a crucial element in how the American Revolution played out and how the British were able to maintain a Colonial presence in Canada following the eventual recognition of the United States of America in 1783 as a sovereign power.