Hand-colored copper-engraved map with inset plan of New York Harbor, engraved by P. Andrews at the shop of Mary Ann Rocque. Overall sheet 29 5/8 x 22 in. (748 x 558 mm). (Some minor toning along centerfold, a few tiny spots.)
RARE MONTRESOR PLAN OF NEW YORK CITY, second issue, with the altered survey date and the added Dury imprint. Issued just after the start of the Revolutionary War, the map is identical to the first issue except with the spurious statement added "Survey'd in the Winter, 1775,” when it was in fact surveyed in 1765. The Montresor map is the most detailed and accurate map of New York and its surrounding areas published during the colonial period. Most significantly, it is the first detailed map of the island of Manhattan beyond the city, and presents its topography before development. It includes Greenwich Village, manors of wealthy New York families, the road system north of the city, as well as elevated areas which have since been leveled. It also includes an inset map of the larger area of New York Harbor and its islands. General Thomas Gage, commander-in-chief of the British Army America, ordered Lieutenant John Montresor to conduct a survey of New York and its surrounding area in December, 1765, wanting an accurate map of Manhattan in anticipation that it would soon become a battleground. Montresor conducted his survey during a time of heightened tension and violence between the British Army, which was headquartered in New York, and colonial civilians. Working amidst the chaos of the Stamp Act Riots and general unrest, he conducted his survey in secret. Cohen & Augustyn, Manhattan in Maps, pp. 70-72; Nebenzahl, Atlas of the American Revolution 11; Stevens-Tree 39b; NYPL 307.
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