Loyalist artist Henry Pelham created this map of Boston Harbor and its surrounds for the British during the summer of 1775. To attest its accuracy, Pelham cleverly included a rendering of the pass issued to him to visit the front lines in the upper left corner. His comprehensive survey vividly shows the strategic importance of the narrow neck that connected the city to the mainland, as well as of the surrounding heights. General Washington's daring fortification of Dorchester Heights in March 1776, which forced the British to evacuate Boston, is among his greatest military victories.

Pelham sent his drawn map to London where Francis Jukes engraved it using the new medium of aquatint. Today, only a dozen impressions of this map survive, with just six - including this example - bearing the artist's signature.


June 2, 1777




Etching and aquatint with watercolor, laid paper


Overall: 41 5/8 in. x 28 in. (105.73 cm x 71.12 cm)

Credit Line

Purchased in part by a generous grant from a Boston foundation, conserved in 1997

Object Number


Colors (Beta)

Mount Vernon's object research is ongoing and information about this object is subject to change. For information on image use and reproductions, click here.
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