One of the earliest Albany maps

Mary Ann Rocque, PLAN of Fort Frederick, at ALBANY. [London, 1765.]
Engraving, 5 3/8"h x 6 1/2"w plus margins, uncolored

Fort Frederick was first constructed in 1676, almost immediately after the English takeover of the New Netherlands from the Dutch. Situated on a hill to the west side of the town, the fort’s location gave it command of both the river approaches and protection from incursions by the Iroquois. Rebuilt as a masonry structure in the early 18th century, the fort reached its maximum size and population during the French and Indian War, after which it gradually fell into disrepair.

The image includes a plan of the fort at the center, flanked at top and bottom respectively by an interior cross-section and a view of the south-east walls.

This very scarce plan is from the second edition of Rocque’s scarce A Set of Plans and Forts in America Reduced from Actual Surveys. This work consisted of 30 plans of forts and locales that had played important roles in the recently-concluded French and Indian War. It was first issued by John Rocque in 1763, with the second edition issued in 1765 by his widow Mary Ann. The only change in the latter edition was the inclusion of plate numbers in the upper right margin of each plan.

The atlas also included a small “Plan of the City of Albany,” which among other things showed the location of Fort Frederick along the city’s northwest edge. Together these are the two earliest published maps of Albany.

See, no. 5.


Some toning largely confined to margins, left margin reinforced on verso