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Sauthier was born in Strasbourg France in 1736 and was typical of many of the most prominent surveyors and draughtsman employed by the British to map the American colonies prior to, and during, the War of Independence.

He learned his draftsmanship from the master French garden designers Le Blond and d’Argenville, and he even produced a treatis on Public Architecture and Garden Planning in 1763.  The major influence on Sauthier’s career however was William Tyron who, as the Royal British Governor of North Carolina, commissioned Sauthier to map towns and installations of military significance throughout the American colony between 1767 and 1771.  Tyron also had Sauthier assist in the design of the governor’s residence now known as Tyron Palace.

In the early 1700s Tyron was appointed Governor of New York and he appointed Sauthier as Surveyor for the Province of New York in 1773.  As a member of the British corps of engineers, Sauthier will have likely worked alongside the likes of Samuel Holland, John Montresor and Bernard Ratzer who were all employed in the region by 1776.  Sauthier mapped Staten Island and Fort Washington having previously engaged upon the survey of the boundary between New York and Quebec.  Much of Sauthier’s work was privately published in London by William Faden during this period.

Sauthier left New York in 1776 to accompany General Hugh Percy firstly to Rhode Island and then back to England as the General’s private secretary at his ancestral home, Alnwick Castle, Northumberland.  Sauthier did eventually return to his native Alsace in 1790 where eventually died at the age of 66 yrs in 1802.

Claude Joseph Sauthier

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