Plan of Boston [appearing in] Bickerstaff's New-England Almanack, for the Year of Our Lord 1776. American Revolution., likely, Boston Map., Benjamin West.
Plan of Boston [appearing in] Bickerstaff's New-England Almanack, for the Year of Our Lord 1776 ...
Plan of Boston [appearing in] Bickerstaff's New-England Almanack, for the Year of Our Lord 1776 ...
Plan of Boston [appearing in] Bickerstaff's New-England Almanack, for the Year of Our Lord 1776 ...
Very Early American-printed Rev War Battle Plan of Boston

Plan of Boston [appearing in] Bickerstaff's New-England Almanack, for the Year of Our Lord 1776 ...

Norwich, CT: Robertsons & Trumbull. [1775.]. Page size: about 6 1/2 x 4 inches. 24 unnumbered pages. Full-page plan of Boston on the second page. String-tied as issued, with additional over-sewing. Moderately worn and soiled as is typical for most surviving almanacs. Closeable tear of 2” at foot of final leaf; loss of a few words in road listings on penultimate leaf. Item #3729

The highlight of this early Revolutionary War almanac is clearly the small map of Boston. Titled simply, Plan of Boston, the map gets a rather more impressive description on the front cover of the almanac: "A very neat Plan of the Town of Boston, shewing at one View, the Provincial Camp, Boston Neck, Fortification, Commons, Battery, Magazine, Charlestown Ferry, Mill Pond, Fort Hill, Corps Hill, Liberty Tree, Windmill Point, South Battery, Long Wharf, Island Wharfs, Hancock’s ditto, Charlestown, Bunker's Hill, Winter Hill, Cobble Hill, Forts, Prospect Hill, Provincial Lines, Lower Fort, Upper ditto, Main Guard, Cambridge College, Charles River, Pierpont's Mill, Fasciene Battery, Roxbury Hill Lines, Ministerial Army's Lines, Dorchester Hill and Point, and Mystick River." The rather crude map appears to be derived from the map titled A New and Correct Plan of the Town of Boston and Provincial Camp, which appeared in the July, 1775 issue of the Pennsylvania Magazine and identifies the same features.

There are two maps on the plate: Figure 1, a map of the Boston peninsula, and Figure 2, an inset of the greater Boston area. On the page facing the maps is a lettered key to the topography and features identified on the maps, 17 items for the main plan and 19 for the inset. Printed at the end of the key is: “Battle of Lexington, 19th of April / Battle of Bunker’s Hill, 17th of June,” a pointed reminder of the pivotal events of the year just gone by.

Also of note in the almanac are instructions describing "the Method of making Gun-powder, which at this Juncture may be carried into Execution in a small Way, by almost every Farmer in his own Habitation." These helpful instructions appear at the head of the calendar pages for January through August. With gunpowder in short supply for the rebels, this was a timely way for individuals to contribute to the war for independence.

The almanac has been attributed to Benjamin West (1730-1813) by Evans. West was an astronomer, professor and prolific almanac publisher based in Providence.

References: Drake, Almanacs: 304; Evans: 14618. Hamilton, Early American Book Illustrators: 72. Nebenzahl: Battle Plans of the American Revolution: 11 & 11a. Wheat & Brun: Maps and Charts Published in America before 1800: 240.

[ICN 7673.].

Price: $3,950.00