Environs of Quebec City, American Blockade from December 8, 1775 to May 13, 1776


Environs de Québec, bloqué par les Américains du 8 décembre 1775 au 13 mai 1776 (Environs of Quebec City, American blockade from December 8, 1775 to May 13, 1776) was produced in 1777 by cartographer, author, and illustrator Georges-Louis Le Rouge (born 1712), royal geographer to King Louis XV. The map shows places and events related to the American siege of and attack upon Quebec City during the Revolutionary War. By this action the Continental Congress hoped to swing Quebec to the cause of American independence. The attack was led by General Richard Montgomery and Colonel Benedict Arnold of the Continental Army. The map shows the cathedral, seminary, citadel, and forts as well as the shipyard, wharves, roads, farms, and vegetation. It also includes historic notes and an index to military emplacements and points of interest. The villages of Saint Jean, Saint Roch, and Palais are shown. The American batteries used in the siege of the city are indicated, as well as the sites from which Montgomery and Arnold launched their attacks against the city on the last day of 1775. Neither the attack nor the subsequent siege succeeded in their objectives. Located on the Saint Lawrence River, Quebec City was an administrative, military, and commercial hub, as well as a religious center that was home to a cathedral, bishop’s palace, seminary, and Jesuit mission. Originally established in 1608 by the French explorer Samuel de Champlain on the same site as a fort built by Jacques Cartier in 1535, Quebec became the capital of New France. In the Battle of Quebec (June‒September 1759), one of the culminating struggles of the Seven Years’ War (1756‒63), the French under the Marquis de Montcalm were forced to surrender the city to an invading British force led by General James Wolfe. Four years later, France ceded most of its Canadian possessions in North America to Great Britain. Quebec City is one of the oldest cities in Canada, and indeed within all of North America. North is oriented toward the upper right. Relief is shown by hachures. Scale is indicated in perches, an old unit measuring about five meters. The map is from the Rochambeau Collection at the Library of Congress, which consists of 40 manuscript maps, 26 printed maps, and a manuscript atlas that belonged to Jean-Baptiste-Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau (1725‒1807), commander in chief of the French expeditionary army (1780‒82) during the American Revolution. Some of the maps were used by Rochambeau during the war. Dating from 1717 to 1795, the maps cover much of eastern North America, from Newfoundland and Labrador in the north to Haiti in the south. The collection includes maps of cities, maps showing Revolutionary War battles and military campaigns, and early state maps from the 1790s.

Last updated: January 8, 2018