March of the French Army from Providence to the North (Hudson) River


Marche de l'armée française de Providence à la Rivière du Nord (March of the French Army from Providence to the North [Hudson] River) is a manuscript map in black and red pen-and-ink and watercolor, dating from 1781. The map is accompanied by a manuscript text on the itinerary of the march (not shown here). The two documents contain the plan for the movement of French Army troops from Providence, Rhode Island, to the Hudson River. Roads, towns, villages, rivers, creeks, ferry crossings, and troop symbols are listed prominently. Relief is shown by hachures. In June‒July 1781, General Rochambeau moved his troops from Rhode Island to the Hudson River, just north of New York City, in general accordance with this plan. There he met George Washington, after which the combined French and American forces marched south toward the final campaign of the Revolutionary War, which culminated at the Battle of Yorktown in Virginia. This part of the map shows the proposed line of march of the French in western Connecticut and New York State, from Newtown and New Stratford to the Hudson River. It highlights a series of numbered French camps in red that indicate intermediate stops. Campsites south of Ridgebury, Connecticut, were in fact never occupied. The map has tears and other slight imperfections, particularly on the folds and creases. 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