CLAUDE JOSEPH SAUTHIER (1736-1802), engraved and published by WILLIAM FADEN (1749-1836): A topographical map of Hudsons River (sic),

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CLAUDE JOSEPH SAUTHIER (1736-1802), engraved and published by WILLIAM FADEN (1749-1836):

A topographical map of Hudsons River (sic), with the channels depth of water, rocks, shoals &c. and the country adjacent, from Sandy-Hook, New York and bay to Fort Edward, also the communication with Canada by Lake George and Lake Champlain, as high as Fort Chambly on Sorel River.

Copperplate engraving with original hand color, 31 ½” x 21 ½”.

London: William Faden, October 1, 1776.

Price: $18,000 ____________________________________________________________________________


With its three oblong tiers the Sauthier and Faden map of the Hudson River is reminiscent of triptych compositions and their network of cross-references between individual panels. It thus marks the progression from New York City to Rhinebeck (first section), as well as from the Mohawk River and Lake George (central section) to Lake Champlain in Vermont and the Canadian province of Quebec (third section). In addition to its displaying one of Sauthier’s most iconic designs, the map is a key document in the history of the Revolutionary War; the Hudson River/Lake George/Lake Champlain Corridor was indeed viewed by the British as an invasion route between Canada and the Middle Colonies and it comes as no surprise that Sauthier identifies not only roads, forts, and navigational hazards but also the locations of military action against the British troops of Guy Carleton.

Control of the River was paramount for both sides, as Carleton repeatedly tried to cut off the Northern Colonies from the rest of the rebellious territories. Though his campaign was halted by the fleet of Benedict Arnold, three-prong attacks led by General Burgoyne in 1777 made the Hudson River once again the setting of battles and skirmishes.

The French-born Claude Joseph Sauthier emigrated to North America in 1767 when he worked for Governor Tryon - first in North Carolina and then in New York. While his importance as a cartographer is based on large surveying projects (including New England and present-day Vermont), it appears that his Revolutionary War maps are indebted to the works of William Brassier.

Sauthier’s collaborator William Faden is best remembered for self-publishing his “North American Atlas” in 1777. Considered the most detailed chronicle of the early stages in the Revolutionary War, it featured 29 maps including battle maps drawn by eyewitnesses.