Blaskowitz is amongst the better known of Samuel Holland’s team, between 1664 and 1775. With the outbreak of war in 1776 he developed into one of the preeminent surveyors of the British campaign.

Prior to the start of the War of Independence in 1776 Blaskowitz was one of Samuel Holland's team of talented surveyors and draftsmen, including messrs; Thomas Wright, James Grant, Thomas Wheeler and George Sproule who worked up and down the North eastern coast of North America producing surveys for the Lords of the Board of Trade. Those suveys subsequently formed the basis of J.F.W. Des Barres' folios of the Atlantic Neptune published between 1777 and 1781. In addition,  some of his work was privately printed by William Faden the London publisher. His 'style' or draftmanship is less 'refined' than that of his contemporaries such as Wheeler, Grant, Skinner or Sproule.


He is probably best known for the work he carried out in the Rhode Island region where he completed a number of surveys intended to inform the British as to the suitability of Newport as a naval base. One of these surveys for the British Admiralty, completed about 1764 and was famously redrawn by the surveyor to fulfill a private commission for the local landowners and farmers of Rhode Island showing land boundaries and place names add. The map was later published by Faden in 1777 and a version included in the Atlantic Neptune by Des Barres a year later.  He returned to the area in 1774 where he was teamed with Thomas Wheeler and James Grant on further surveys of the coastline south of Portsmouth and then south of Boston, around Cape Cod and on towards Connecticut.


With the commencement of hostilities and the subsequent end of duties working on the General Survey in late 1775 he, like a number of his fellow surveyors, was aligned to the regiment of Guides and Pioneers and for a time he worked with John Motresor the Chief engineer in New York. He was then seconded to General William Howe's staff. He attained the rank of Captain and was responsible for a number of surveys and sketches depicting military actions, engagements and defensive positions around the New York area between 1776 and 1777. 


After New York he followed the army down through Philadelphia down to Charleston. He returned to New York around 1782 to work under Sir Guy Carleton and his Chief engineer Lt. Colonel Morse. 

In 1784 he was sent, with Henry Castleman, to Nova Scotia to survey the important town of Halifax [1].


His survey work, in and around New York, set a new standard of excellence and was used at the highest level. To this day some of his  work under Carleton and Morse goes unattributed. Amongst these works are two maps in particular: The British Headquarters Map from 1782 [2} which is generally accepted as the most accurate depiction of the relief of New York Island is a case in pont. It's attribution is credited not just for the 'style' of the work, but also for Blaskowitz's association with Carleton, Morse and Henry Castleman. It is furher supported by the existence of a less-well known finished survey of the same area, at the same scale, in the hand of Blaskowitz held by the National Archives UK [3]. This edition of the map inclues detailed military disposition which the Headquarters map does not. Both surveys relate directly to a number of rough sketches of the Kings Bridge area held in the Library of Congress, amongst other places.

After the war ended Blaskowitz was decommissioned but he returned to duty in 1812 as a Captain (half pay) in the Royal Newfoundland Fencibles regiment. He married his wife, Ann on the 10th of March 1812. He died at Lambeth, England, on the 4th August 1823.


[1] CO 700/NovaScotia49B. A Plan of the Peninsula upon which the Town of Halifax is situated.. National Archives UK

[2] MR1-463. The British Headquarters Map. National Archives UK

[3] MR1-590. New York.. A Fragment of a Sketch. National Archives UK


Charles Blaskowitz