"A Map of the British American Plantations, Extending from Boston in New England to Georgia; Including All the Back Settlements in the Respective Provinces, as Far as the Mississipi"
A very early account of 21 year old Major George Washington's first expedition and battle exploits leading to French and Indian War
This July 1754 issue of Gentleman's Magazine and its extraordinary copper plate map documents the exploits of a young Major George Washington. The magazine records George Washington's first and second military adventures in an article entitled, "Some account of the Encroachments made by the French on the British Settlements in America" and the wonderful fold-out map is provided to illustrate the adventure and the British and French settlements in North America before the commencement of the French and Indian War. This historic issue of Gentleman's Magazine, of which Washington was a subscriber, is very rare as a complete issue with the map and plates intact.
Washington was first sent by the British governor Dinwiddie of Virginia on an expedition to demand that the French withdraw their forces from the banks of the Ohio river "which they were persisting to fortify, and also to engage the six nations to continue firm in their attachment to England." The article notes that Washington's first military mission was unsuccessful because "the French having refused to depart, and the Indians being found wavering, orders were soon after received from England to repel force with force, and not only to prevent them from building forts on the Ohio, but to drive them from all the settlement which they have made contrary to treaty.." The article then describes Washington's next critical mission which involved the first shots fired and people killed in what would become the French and Indian War. The British attempted to establish a fort on what is today Pittsburg and they were driven from the fort by a superior French force, at which point the garrison's commander met up with Washington:
This battle between the French and the detachment led by Washington became very controversial, a point not known at the time the article was written, because a French ambassador was killed and the French claimed there was no hostile intent when they were attacked by Washington. One person did escape and returned to Pittsburg (Fort Duquesne) and his account of Washington's action aroused the French public and led to a military expedition against Washington. At the subsequent battle at Fort Necessity Washington was forced to surrender and he signed a surrender document stating that he "assassinated" the French ambassador in the earlier skirmish. A modern account of Washington's adventures in 1753-1754 is provided by the National Park Service's Fort Necessity battlefield web site at http://www.nps.gov/fone/jumglen.htm
The picture below shows the text of the article and the fold-out map inserted in the middle of the article about Washington's exploits.
Below is the title cartouche of the map.
Below is a portion of the map detailing the French forts that were the subject of Washington's expedition and precipitated the French and Indian War.
This great historic issue that documents in words and map the first military exploits of the father of our country, George Washington, is a rare treasure. I could find only one other in existence, and it was offered by a rare book dealer for $1,200.
I have another copy of this issue and map which I hope to post soon. In the meantime email me if you are interested and I will send pictures.