Scarce and unusual plan of Revolutionary Boston

Armstrong Geo[grapher] / A. Bell Sc[ulpsit], THIRTY-MILES Round BOSTON. London, August 14, 1775.
Engraving, 10”h x 10 1/4”w at neat line plus margins (including a very large flap at left, which would need to be folded under for framing), uncolored. A bit of creasing along old folds, some minor wear, foxing and soiling in margins, but better than very good.

A scarce map of the Boston area issued during the earliest phase of the Revolution. This image was published in the Scots Magazine, less than two months after the June 17, 1775 Battle of Bunker Hill and while the British were still besieged in Boston.

The map is striking for its unusual circular format, which does not appear on any other contemporary map of the town. Despite its small size, it includes considerable information about the “Memorable Occurrences” of the Revolution, beginning with the Boston Tea Party and concluding with the Battle of Bunker Hill. A small plan of the Battle is included in the upper-right spandrel, likely based on a plan published by William Faden on August 1, 1775.

This map would have been consulted avidly by the British public, eager for more news of the horrific events in and around Boston in the Spring of 1775. The folds and relatively narrow margins indicate that this example was extracted from an issue of the Scots Magazine, but the price (“One Shill”) in the lower-right margin indicates that it was also issued separately (Though this writer has never encountered a separately-issued example.)

Jolly, Maps of America in Periodicals before 1800, #277; Nebenzahl, Bibliography of Printed Battle Plans, #26 and 26a.