Monday, June 16, 2014

1775, The Montresor Plan Surveyed in the Winter of 1775

A Plan of the City of New-York & its Environs to Greenwich, on the North or Hudson River, and to Crown Point, on the East or Sound River, Shewing the Several Streets, Publick Buildings, Docks, Fort & Battery; with the true Form & Course of the Commanding Grounds, with and without the Town. Surveyed in the Winter, 1775

To the Hon.ble Tho.s Gage Esq. Major General and Commander in Chief of his Majesty's Forces in North America, and Colonel of the 22 Regiment of Foot. This Plan is Most humbly Inscribed by his Obedient Servant. John Montresor. Engineer.

Sold by A. Dury, Dukes Court St. Martins Lane

How could Henry Hudson be both commissioned by King James and employed by the E. India Company on the same voyage of discovery? Did he sell his navigation charts to the highest bidder, and if so, why are the English so historically cheap? The West Indies Company was paid $4 million florins to abandon its fight with the Portuguese on behalf of a Dutch claim on Brazil (where they were being trounced militarily.) The Dutch didn't just walk away from their vast North American claim either--they kept their Patroonships and leverage in international power brokering. All-in-all, it sounds like things got off to a bad start, and the military perspective behind this narrative sounds peeved 150 years later, at the ongoing boodle over spending on a bad fort. (Also, try and find No. 4, in the References, "Ruins of Alderman Romers Battery." I looked hard to no avail. Sounds like political payback.) If the two Powder Magazines in the fort were "damp," why did officials position a newly built Magazine on a little island in the middle of the Collect Pond?

New York.
Novum Eboracum, a City in the Province of that Name; formerly New Amsterdam, and the Country New Netherland, or Nova Belgia from having been first settled by the Dutch, though first discovered by Hen. Hudson, an Englishman commissioned by King James, and employed by the E. India Company for finding a Passage through N. America to China, in 1608, who sold his discovery to them. This its Metropolis, is situated in 40.Deg.42.Min.40.Sec.N.Lat and on the South West end of the island, of the same name, 14 miles in length, and about one Mile wide, which comprehends the Liberties or Charter of the City, and was called by its original Natives the Savages, Manhattan's Island, the City is Constructed at the confluence of the North or Hudson's River, leading to Albany, and the East or Sound, which divides Nassau, now Long Island (and by the natives Meitowacks) from the Main, and the direct Navigation for small vessells to the Eastern Provinces; it's about thirty miles from Sandy Hook, the entrance from the Ocean, so through a winding course called the East and West Banks, to the Narrows one Mile across, being formed by Long and Staten Islands, both in this Province, on the S. West end of the City, stands a Fort of Stone, where the Governor resides, constructed by the Dutch in 1615, called Fort Amsterdam, now Fort George, which has often been repaired the whole en Barbette, & whose Exterior Line is 330 Feet, its Flanks which are very Insignificant, are nearly at Right Angles; it contains Barracks for 200 Men & constructed originally for two of the four New York Independent Companies (tho paid by the Crown) it has two Powder Magazines but damp, & no other Casements, & badly supplied with water; in its N. East Front towards the Town is situated a Ravelin or Couvert-Port en-Barbette that rather obstructs its Defense, which are of themselves but bad, this front is Commanded by a Piece of Ground Equal to it at the end of ye Bowling Green, its Original Parade, & formerly in the Jurisdiction of the Fort; this height is 53.0 feet from it, & where its Principal Streets commences called the Broadway, this Fort is constructed on a Small Nole just sufficient for the Work, which has two fronts to the Town & two to ye water, one facing the East and one the north Rivers, ye Battery which carries a respecfull appearance with it (at a distance) is in a very ruinous situation, & was constructed at an Enormous Expence, & seems to have been intended for Profit & Form then Defence, it being entirely exposed to a fire in reverse, & Enfilade; it consists of 91. Embrasures, in which are 71 Pieces of Cannon mounted.

A Fort George
B Batteries
C Military Hospital
D Secretaries Office
E Powder Magazine
F Soldier's Barracks
G Wharfs and Quays
H Ship Yards
I City Hall
K Exchange
L Goal
M Work-house
N College*
O Markets
P Trinity Church
Q St. Georges Chapel
R. St. Paul's Chapel
S Old Dutch Church
T New Dutch Church
V Lutheran Church
W Calvinists Church
X French Protestant Church
Y Quakers Meeting
Z Presbyterian Meeting
&. Jews Synagogue
1. Baptist Meeting
2 Moravian Meeting
3. New Lutheran Meeting
4. City School House
5. Ruins of Alderman Romers Battery
6. Fresh Water Engine from whence the Town is supplied

* New York College, established by Royal Charter granted in 1754.

Other prominent public Institutions founded in the latter part of the eighteenth century are; The New York Chamber of Commerce, established May 1, 1769, incorporated by Lt. Gov. Golden, March 13, 1770; The Marine Society, incorporated by letters patent granted the 12th of April, 1770; and The New York Hospital, charter granted June 13, 1771, by John, Earl of Dunmore.

1897, New Amsterdam, New Orange, New York, A Chronologically Arranged Account of Engraved Views of the City From the First Picture Published in 1611 Until the year 1800, by William Loring Andrews, New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1897) page 105
Read Online
(10.6 M) PDF
(8.8 M) B/W PDF
(~294 pg) EPUB
(~294 pg) Kindle
(~294 pg) Daisy
(169.5 K) Full Text
(5.8 M) DjVu

No comments: