HUTCHINS, Thomas (1730 -1789). A general map of the country on the Ohio and Muskingham... in 1764. Philadelphia: W. Bradford, 1765.
Single sheet (17 x 30 6/8 inches; framed size 28 3/8 x 32 2/8 inches). Fine engraved map "of the country on the Ohio and Mushkingham shewing the situation of the Indian-towns with respect to the army under the command of Colonel Bouquet" and "A Topographical Plan of that part of the Indian-Country through which the Army under the Command of Colonel Bouquet Marched in the Year 1764", the main title set within an elegant asymmetrical rococo cartouche at the head of another larger asymmetrical rococo cartouche border framing the map, with vignettes of the Indian Camps in the lower corners and the route of the army from Fort Pitt to the forks of Muskingham across the top, compass rose upper right.
The exceptionally rare frontispiece map to William Smith's (1727-1803) "An historical account of the expedition against the Ohio Indians, in the year 1764", Philadelphia: Printed and sold by W. Bradford, 1765. After a victorious expedition to relieve Fort Pitt at the outbreak of the Pontiac War, Colonel Bouquet entered the Ohio territory and ended the hostilities without further significant fighting. Bouquet had fought in America for eight years, and his successful adaptation of the guerilla tactics necessary for wilderness warfare gained the respect of his Native American foes. In 1765 he won the release of hostages and put an end to the Indian attacks on the western frontier. Bouquet died of a fever in September 1765, and Smith prepared this account of his service from Bouquet's own notes and journals.
Hutchin's map is one of the most attractive maps on a small scale engraved in the eighteenth century. It is important for two reasons - the map is a visual testament to the significance of personal observation in the recording of Ohios geographic data and, more crucially, the map served in large part as the basis for Hutchins's greatest work "A new Map of the Western Parts of Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland and North Carolina. . ." It is a compilation of geographical information that is far above the average of the day, embodying as it does the information furnished by an engineer in the field and one who was in a position to draw his map with authority and conviction.
Thomas Hutchins's dual map, published in 1765, represents a composite picture of the country through which Colonel Bouquet marched in 1764. The location of the sixteen campsites established by Bouquet during the march are shown along the top portion of the map, while a general map showing the land between the Ohio and Muskingum rivers fills the main portion, elaborately contained within beautiful baroque framing lines.
Hutchins accompanied Bouquet in his expedition, serving as assistant engineer on the Colonel's journey up the Ohio River, from Fort Pitt to Big Beaver Creek and across country as far as Muskingum River, to subdue and make peace with the Native Americans. Following the conclusion of the French and Indian War, the Ottawa chief Pontiac assembled a confederacy of Indian tribes to attack the British posts located between Fort Detroit and Fort Pitt. Although their attempts were thwarted, the English authorities wished to extract peace declarations from the Native Americans and to liberate white captives taken prisoner during both the French and Indian War and the Pontiac rising.
Hutchins's map was first published in Smith's 1765 account largely upon the request of Colonel Bouquet. Hutchins worked closely with Bouquet and it is likely that the two men, and possibly others, pooled their knowledge of the march and brought it together for William Smith to write. The authorship of the book was attributed to Thomas Hutchins for many years, but re-ascribed after the discovery of a letter from William Smith, provost of the University of Philadelphia, to Sir William Johnson dated January 13, 1766, proving that Smith was at least the compiler of the work. Regardless of who wrote the text and who brought together in journalistic form the account of Bouquet's expedition, there is no question that this and the other maps and sketches that came out in the book are the work of Hutchins.
Born in Monmouth County, New Jersey, Thomas Hutchins grew to be a faithful civil servant, a military officer, an engineer and mapmaker. He had a long and checkered career, first in the armed forces of His Majesty George III and later under the command of the President of the United States as first geographer to the new nation.
His first military rank (in 1756) was ensign in the Second Pennsylvania Regiment, and in short order he became quartermaster of the Third Battalion. With Forbes, he was present at the establishment of the first English garrison in the Ohio Valley. After two years of work with George Croghan as deputy Indian agent, Hutchins applied for and received a commission as ensign in the British Army, and from then to the end of the Revolutionary War he was attached to the 60th or Royal American Regiment. By 1777 he had achieved the rank of Captain.
Hutchins's knowledge of the Western Country and his experience in the Indian department made him a valuable asset of the army and he was frequently called upon to serve as guide, interpreter, engineer, and mapmaker. His reputation grew and his services as mapmaker were much in demand. Acting in the capacity of an engineer he inspected nearly all the British posts in North America from Michillimacinac to Pensacola; he also helped to choose sites for new ones and design their fortifications. Brown, Early Maps of the Ohio Valley, No. 45; Smith, The Mapping of Ohio, 60; Pritchard and Taliaferro, Degrees of Latitude, 230-231, fig. 178