City, Port and Harbor of Baltimore, Maryland


Ville, port, et rade de Baltimore (City, port and harbor of Baltimore) is a manuscript map, in pen-and-ink and watercolor, that depicts the harbor and environs of Baltimore, Maryland, towards the end of the Revolutionary War. The map was created by Louis-Alexandre Berthier (1753–1815), a young French officer who accompanied the army of the Comte de Rochambeau to North America in 1780 and served on his general staff. Berthier later became a marshal in the French army and chief of staff to Napoleon. The map shows fortifications, troop encampments of Rochambeau’s army around Baltimore, batteries at the harbor entrance, and a ferry crossing the Patapsco River. It also shows Baltimore’s street layout at the time, as well as wharves, houses, and area farms. The map highlights channels, soundings, and shoals in surrounding waters, and shows roads to “Frederick Town,” “White Marsh,” and “Spurrier’s Tavern” (at the intersection of routes linking Baltimore, Washington, and Annapolis). Relief is shown by shading. The title is from a manuscript label, which was on the verso as originally mounted. 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