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A Superb Revolutionary War Chart
Halifax/ Nova Scotia. .
LE ROUGE, G. L. [Paris?, 1778]
Port De Halifax de la Nouvelle Ecosse….
15 ½ x 21 ¾ inches
A mint example of this Revolutionary War-era chart, made for the use of the French Navy, and published the year France became an ally of the American cause. It shows a detailed chart of the harbor and approaches to the port of Halifax, a location of high strategic importance, as it was the largest British naval base on the Atlantic coast. In 1776 it was the port to which General Howe and his forces repaired after having been driven from Boston, and it was the staging point for the army sent to take New York that same year. The chart details soundings, anchorages and coastal defenses in addition to the settled areas of the town itself.
Georges-Louis Le Rouge (c. 1712-c. 1790) was the most prolific publisher of maps and charts of North America during the period of the American Revolution. He published both an atlas of charts, in which the present work appeared—the Neptune Americo-Septentrional—and the Atlas Ameriquain Septentrional, also in 1778, described as “the best collection of French maps for North America during the Revolutionary War” (Cobb, Krieger). A former German military officer, Le Rouge established a successful map business in Paris and attained the title of “Ingenieur Geographe du Roi.”