The siege of Yorktown, writ small

Andrew Beers / Printed and Sold by Bavil Webster, A Plan of the Investment of York-Town and Glocester [in:] THE UNITED-STATES ALMANACK… 1783, Hartford, 1782-1783 .
16mo, 12 leaves. Full-page woodcut on half title (6.25"h x 3.875"w).

An American almanac with an early and very rare plan of the siege of Yorktown.

The small woodcut map is of considerable interest in the early mapping of the American Revolutionary War. It is the second plan of the battle printed in America, following that by Sebastian Bauman, and the only contemporary one to be directed at the American public at large. No other view of the battle and its outcome would have been widely available in America until the late 1790s.

The publisher has attempted to convey the best record of these remarkable events in a simple and affordable format. The plan is almost certainly based on the large Bauman plan, as it employs a similar layout and some of the same language. On the verso is an “Explanation of the Plan” keyed to printed letters on the body of the map, identifying among other things Washington’s headquarters, the siege parallels and artillery positions, and the “Field where the British laid down their Arms.”

The almanac and map exist in three variant states, the differences affecting the typography of the map’s title and the notes on the verso. This appears to be a copy of the third state, with the title reading A PLAN OF THE INVESTMENT OF / YORK-TOWN AND GLOCESTER.

The map and accompanying almanac are quite rare, with OCLC locating only six institutional examples. This writer is aware of but one other example appearing on the market in recent years.

The Almanack is listed in Bates, Check-list of Connecticut Almanacs, p. 135 and Evans, American Imprints, #17467. The plan may be found in Nebenzahl, Battle Plans, #191 and Wheat & Brun, Maps and Charts, #544.


Some browning and faint staining, small tears in last two leaves.