Map of the City, Port, and Harbor of Newport and Rhode Island. Landing in 1780


Plan de la ville, du port, et de la rade de New-port et Rhode Island. Debarquement en 1780 (Map of the city, port, and harbor of Newport and Rhode Island. Landing in 1780) is a manuscript map in pen-and-ink and watercolor. The map is oriented with north to the right. This was a preliminary draft for other French maps of Newport, Rhode Island. The map shows the defense plan for Newport and its environs during the Revolutionary War. It highlights General Rochambeau’s main troop encampments around the city as well as the position of Admiral Charles Louis de Ternay’s fleet at the entrance to Newport Harbor. It shows the range of fire from the French fleet and land batteries protecting the city and port from Brenton Point, Goat Island, and Rose Island. French forces remained in Newport for more than a year (1780‒81) before Rochambeau marched westward through Connecticut in June‒July 1781 to join up with George Washington’s American troops in New York. This proved to be a prelude to the Battle of Yorktown in Virginia that ultimately ended the Revolutionary War. The map also shows relief (shown by hachures), fortifications, buildings, roads, and vegetation. 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: November 4, 2015