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End Notes

[1] S. Max Edelson. The New Map of Empire. How Britain Imagined America before Independence. Harvard University Press. Cambridge, Massacusetts. London, England. (2017). Page 329.

[2] Holland to Des Barres: Kittery, Pisquataqua River, May 27th 1771. Heritage Canada, Des Barres Papers, Series 5 (MG23F15, Vols 1-2, p85) Also, Holland to Pownnall 15th June 1772, CO 5/70, f333.

[3] The documents under examination in this paper may all be referred to as either maps or plans. Because they contain military information and are primarily intended to recount significant events of the campaign in New York in 1776 they are referred to, throughout this paper, as ‘plans’. By definition a ‘map’ need not be topographically correct, indeed all of the maps under scrutiny here border on being topological by nature, as the scales and topological detail used is so inaccurate. A plan, by definition, does need to be accurate.

[4] Matthew Edney & Mary Sponberg-Pedley: Livestream introduction to The History of Cartography: Cartography in the Enlightenment, Volume 4, Part 1: Session #1: The Building Blocks for Creating an Encyclopedia: Cartography Discovery Series. Presented by the Clements Library. March 9th 2021.

[5] For more information on the history and organization of the Hydrographic Office holdings see: Pascoe, L.N. ‘The Story of the Curator of the Hydrographic Department of the Admiralty 1795 to 1975’ (unpublished). Available from

[6] Upon the death of Thomas Jeffreys Snr, William Faden continued the partnership with Jeffrey’s son, Thomas Jnr. Ultimately the partnership of Faden and Jefferys was dissolved in 1776, and Faden started to publish under his own name. With the progress of the American Revolultionary War Faden built his business into a profitable enterprise. The re-release of Ratzer’s Plan of the City of New York in 1776 was one of the last Faden and Jeffreys publications.   

[7] NOAA (C&GS): National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (Coast & Geodactic Survey)

[8] Email correspondence: William Stanley Chief Historian, NOAA  (emeritus), Dec 12 2016 [See Appendix 3]. 

[9] Telephone conversation (05/31/2022)

[10] The full extent of the damage to UKHO l690 is not evident from the image used in this presentation (image 4) thanks to extensive photoshop editing.

[11] Geographical Ledger ‘Coasts of United States including Alaska – pre 1930, ref COD 2/5/1/8. 1815-16. United Kingdom Hydrographic Office.

[12] The full extent of the damage to UKHO l690 is not evident from the image used in this presentation (image 2) thanks to extensive photoshop editing.

[13] LOC catalogue record is reads: Accompanied by 2 textual descriptions signs from previous exhibitions of the map: August – September 1776. [1] sheet: paperboard; 29 x 25cm. – Battle of New York. [1] sheet : paperboard ; 28 x 42 cm. 

[14] Not to scale

[15] The survey includes the American fortifications built around the Walton House on Horns Hook which were erected in early 1776 and were destroyed by a barrage from the British guns positioned across the river on the 8th September 1776, also marked on the survey. Significantly, These are the only military dispositions shown on the survey. An entry in the Diary of Archibald Robertson states; ‘Sept.4th Evening, Captain Moncrief and I were ordered to raise two Battery’s at Hell gate against Walton's House, one of 3 24-Pounders and one 3 12-Pounders, a working party of 300 men. We began to work at ½ past nine and by 5 next morning they were completed within 2 hours work of 6o men. Archibald Robertson. ‘His Diaries and Sketches in America, Book Two. 1762-1780’. The New York Public Library and The New York Times & Arno Press Reprint Edition by The New York Public Library and Arno Press Inc. 1971. ISBN 0-405-01224-1.

[16] J.F.W. Des Barres. Oyster and Huntington Bays with an Inset of Hell’s Gate (1778) See also Heritage Charts A207.

[17] ‘East and West Sheets: Hampstead Bay’. UKHO First Editions and Pulls held of Des Barres Charts: Office location 21. See Also Heritage Charts A201 & Library of Congress 

[18] Charles Blaskowitz. A plan of New York Island, and part of Long Island, with the circumjacent country, as far as Dobbs's Ferry to the north, and White Plains to the east, including the rivers, islands, roads, &ca : also shewing the landing, routes, battles, lines and encampments of the British forces under the command of His Excellency Sir William Howe Knight of the most honorable Order of the Bath, Commander in Chief &ca. &ca. &ca). Richard H. Brown Revolutionary War Map Collection.

[19] Martin. R. J. Plan des Lagers der britischen Armee in Hellgate und Newtown auf Long-Island, auf New York-Island am 16. November 1776 (Plan of the camp of the British Army at Hellgate and Newtown on Long Island, on New York Island on November 16, 1776). 1777. Digital Archive Marburg (DigAM), Hessian State Archives Marburg, 2000/2001. HStAM WHK 28/47.

[20] Variously call the Ratzer ‘Map’ of New York in order to differentiate it from his 1767 publication the ‘Plan of the City of New York’ or ‘Ratzen Plan’ which covered only the area of Lower Manhattan.

[21] Paul E. Cohen, Robert T. Augustyn: Manhattan in Maps 1527-2014, Dover Publications, Inc, Mineols, New York. 2014 

[22] Des Barres received leave to go to England in order to see to the publication of his maps and charts. (The Atlantic Neptune.) and in October 1773, DesBarres boards the Adamant at Halifax and sailed for London.

[23] This is an early example of what became common practice for map-makers to include projected building projects in editions of their maps in order to appear as current as possible, for as long as possible.

[24] Note that for purposes of display we might, just as accurately use Ratzer’s (presumed) finished copy (center panel; UKHO A9459)for the Ratzer Map of New York.

[25] Engraving would involve the use of either a burin tool or a needle for fine detail. For an explanation of the process see Richard Baynton-Williams, ‘The art of the printmaker 1500-1860, A & C Black, London (2009).

[26] Because the area involved is small Des Barres opted to scratch or erase the paper to remove the ink rather than flatten the copper and re-engrave.

[27] In February 1776 Lee wrote to General Washington, “We have fixed a spot on Long Island for a retrenched Camp which I hope will render it impossible for ‘em to get footing on that important Island as this Camp can always be reinfor’d it is our intention to make it so capacious as to contain four thousand men.”. Charles Lee to George Washington, February 14, 1776, Founders Online, National Archives.

[28] George Sproule “A plan of the environs of Brooklyn showing the position of the rebel lines and defences on the 27th of August 1776..” University of Michigan Library Digital Collections.

[29] Smith, David. William Howe and the American War of Independence. : Bloomsbury Academic, 2015. P67-70[xxvi] 

[30]Kips Bay is variously spelled Keps, Kips but id today known by the latter.

[31] David Ross. THE HESSIAN JÄGERKORPS IN NEW YORK AND PENNSYLVANIA, 1776-1777, Journal of The American Revolution, May 14, 2015.

[32] Much of the report was printed that very day in ‘The London Gazette Extraordinary’. London map publisher, William Faden, engraved and printed a map/plan detailing the reported operations and events on the 19th October 1776[1] [Appendix 9].

[33] The plan is part of the Sir Henry Clinton’s collection of maps and plans now held by the University of Michigan Clements Library[1][See also appendix 7]

[34] Rawdon had been appointed supernumerary aide-de-camp to Lieutenant General Henry Clinton in January 1775 and was present with him throughout the initial Southern campaign and again here in New York. Interestingly, he accompanied Clinton back to London in January 1777 in his capacity as aide-de-camp. This raises the question as to whether, during that time whether Des Barres had access to Rawdon? He would certainly have been an invaluable source.

[35] Des Barres Papers, series 5 (M.G. 23, F1-5, vols. 1-2) Naval Surveys and Atlantic Neptune , 1762-1815. Canadiana Heritage.

[36] Jones, J. Recapitulation of A Statement Submitted by Lieutenant Colonel Desbarres. For Consideration. Respecting His Services, from the Year 1755, to the Present Time in the Capacity of an Officer and Engineer During the War of 1756. ... Chapel Street, Soho, 1796

[37] Abstract of the expense attending the preparation of the American Coast & Harbours…’ Copy in Des Barres Papers, Series V, p.304.

[38] Recapitulation of A Statement submitted by Lieutenant Colonel DesBarres for Consideration Respecting his Services, from the Year 1755, to the prefent time – in the Capacity of an Officer and Engineer during the War of 1756 – The Utility of his Surveys and Publications of the Coafts and Harbours of North America, inituled, The Atlantic Neptun – and his Proceedings and Conduct as Lieutenant Governor and Commander in Chief and Commander in Chief of His Majesty’s Colony of Cape Breton. London Printed by J. Jones, Chapel Street, Soho. 1796. Page 5. This figure is also quoted by Pedley (2005) in Appendix 2 ‘Costs of Map Production in England’, p.226 as the cost of Copperplate and Engraving.

[39] According to Jeffrey Murray in his book ‘Terra Nostra: The Stories Behind Canada’s Maps’. 2006. page.7 ‘In the eighteenth century, the cost of engraving a map in Britain, depending on its complexity, averaged from £2 to £30, but the Admiralty allowed Des Barres nearly £37. Although Des Barres left no indication as to how much time was spent engraving each of the 247 plates used in his Atlantic Neptune, it was not unusual for some of his contemporaries to take as much as a year and a half to two years to complete a complicated plate. One historian has suggested that, with a complex map, an eighteenth-century engraver might be expected to produce only one square inch a day’.

[40] Nebenzal(1975) describes the chart as ‘One of the greatest of The Atlantic Neptune Charts, with the best topographical information on the lower Hudson River valley, western long island and Staten Island. Locates entrenchments, encampments, troop positions, etc. Some regiments are named. The map is accompanied, on the same double folded sheet, by five aquatint shore profiles and the famous engraving of the engagement of the Phoenix and the Rose, after the painting by Dominick Serres. Page 66.

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