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2020-12-05 00:02:06
Thomas Western's Plan of Defence
1812. Engraved map on wove paper measuring approx. 290 by 108mm. Washed with some very minor restoration, traces of glue on verso where it was removed from an album. [New York?] A fascinating if impractical plan for fortifying New York Harbor in the War of 1812. The Royal Navy, still at the zenith of its power after the Battle of Trafalgar, was considerably larger than that of the United States. The British carried out successful operations in the Chesapeake theatre and, of course, captured and burned Washington D.C. in August 1812. As such, there was considerable concern at the vulnerability of the ports and harbours along the East Coast. This is but one example of the many plans to fortify them. Apparently, Western devised the system in April 1812, his plan being to fortify the narrows between Brooklyn and Staten island. The idea was to install three large barriers so as to create a tight s-bend through which ships could only sail slowly, becoming sitting targets for the artillery installed on each bank. Thus, the entrance to New York Harbor would be effectively secured. There is a diagram of the sunken barriers atop the map, which includes the lower tip of Manhattan, the west coast of Long Island (showing Brooklyn Heights, Red Hook, Sunset Park and Bay Ridge), the east coast of Staten Island and part of New Jersey. Provenance: The map was removed from an album formerly belonging to Henry Membry Western, Thomas Western's son. While not located on OCLC, two examples are held at the New York Public Library. (This copy is in better condition than either of those.) It is seem … [Click Below for Full Description]
Bookseller: Maggs Bros. Ltd ABA, ILAB, PBFA, BA [London, United Kingdom]
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