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Collection Rochambeau Map Collection

About this Collection

The collection consists of 40 manuscript and 26 printed maps, and a manuscript atlas, the originals of which are in the Library of Congress' Geography and Map Division.

The Rochambeau Map Collection contains cartographic items used by Jean Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau (1725-1807), when he was commander in chief of the French expeditionary army (1780-82) during the American Revolution. The maps were from Rochambeau's personal collection, cover much of eastern North America, and date from 1717 to 1795. The maps show Revolutionary-era military actions, some of which were published in England and France, and early state maps from the 1790s. Many of the items in this extraordinary group of maps show the importance of cartographic materials in the campaigns of the American Revolution (1776 to 1783) as well as Rochambeau's continuing interest in the new United States. The personal papers of Rochambeau were purchased by an act of Congress in 1883.

The maps and views cover both much of the continent of North America, from as far north as Placentia Bay in Newfoundland and Labrador, to the Mississippi River Valley and as far south as Haiti on the island of Hispaniola. The maps date from 1717 to 1795, but the majority of the items are from the years of the American Revolution. For his personal use and later as mementos of his time in America, Rochambeau collected maps of fortifications and troop positions prepared by the French army engineers, including a manuscript atlas containing plans of 54 French encampments during the army's 1782 march from Yorktown to Boston; Revolutionary-era maps published in England and France; and early state maps from the 1790s.

This online presentation includes all the materials in the Rochambeau Map Collection, as well as any items that also appear in the American Memory collection: The American Revolution and Its Era: Maps and Charts of North America and the West Indies, 1750-1789.