Lot 9
  • 9

Canada. Siege of Louisbourg

15,000 - 20,000 USD
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  • ink/paper
Carte topographique du Port et de la Ville de Louisbourg assiégé par les Anglais pendant les mois de Juin et Juillet 1758. Levé et dessiné Par le S[ieu]r Lartigue de L'Isle Royale

Manuscript map, 42 1/4 x 13 1/2 in.; 1180 x 420 mm, on two folded sheets joined together on edge, map drawn in ink and red, green, blue and brown watercolors, a compass drawn with a French fleur-de-lys to indicate North; some stains, very small marginal hole without touching the drawing, brown stain along the junction between the two sheets.


J. Berenger and J. Meyer, La France dans le monde au XVIIIe siècle, 1993, pp. 180-200

Catalogue Note

Built in 1713, Louisbourg and its fortress were made to defend the entrance of the Gulf of St Lawrence after the loss of Newfoundland, Placentia and Annapolis by the Peace of Utrecht. More than a military base, Louisbourg became a rich and dynamic city. But the relations between English and French settlers were infused with mutual fear and commercial competition. The people of Boston and Philadelphia saw the place like a "gun pointed at the heart of New England."

It was first taken by the British on the 19th of June 1745 and given back to France in 1748. The Seven Years' War exposed quickly the great ambitions of Great Britain in America. If France wanted to keep her hand on the colonial market with New France, she never could support both continental and colonial war at the same time whereas the British were building the most powerful Navy.

In order to be able to launch into an expedition to Quebec, the main French territory in America, the British and their settlers had to take Louisbourg, "the Gilbraltar of North America." On the 8th of June 1758, they came to the fortress with 39 ships with around 14,000 men and a landing force of about 13,000 soldiers against 10 French ships and about 8,000 French soldiers. The French held the place until the 26th of July.

The present map was drawn by Pierre-Jérôme Lartigue (1729-1772) who served as the King’s Keeper of Stores in Louisbourg until his removal from that office in 1752. His father, the merchant Joseph Lartigue (1683-1743), settled and owned property in Placentia in 1713 and moved to Louisbourg around 1715. After the capitulation, the Lartigue family apparently moved to French Guiana where Pierre- Jérôme died in 1772.

The map depicts the area from Gabarus Bay on the West, where the British fleet anchored, to the harbor of Louisbourg with the fortress, showing all the installations of the British camps with numerous details. The legend on the right side of the map describes each strategic site, with the name of the commander and the actions during the siege.