Rare view of 18th-century Boston

[after Thomas Pownal], View of the Town of Boston the Capital of New England. [Philadelphia, December 1787.]
Engraving and etching, 4.75"h x 9"w plus title and generous margins, uncolored

A rare, early view of Boston, unusual for being one of very few 18th-century views of the town printed in America.

This charming view of Boston is taken from the vantage point of Castle William across the Harbor to the southeast. It was issued in the December 1787 number of The Columbian Magazine, and is a reduced version of an image originally drawn by British official Thomas Pownall and published before the Revolution. Pownall first came to the Colonies in 1753, served as Governor of Massachusetts in the late 1750s and of South Carolina in the 1760s, wrote the Topographical Description of North America (1776), and produced or contributed to a number of important maps of American subjects.

The Union Jack flying from Castle William on the original Pownall view is here replaced with the Stars and Stripes.

Creswell, The American Revolution in Drawings and Prints, #523


Vertical folds as issued, minor creases and some very minor soiling, but wide margined and excellent for a magazine plate