22 June 2010
Property from the Estate of Dorothy and Marshall M. Reisman Sold to Benefit the Reisman Charitable Foundation
JEFFERYS, Thomas. A Prospective of the Battle fought near Lake George on the 8th of September 1755 between 2000 English with 250 Mohawk...in which the English were Victorious.... London: T. Jefferys, 2 February 1756. 1 page, folio (12 9/16 x 22in.), top edge affixed to matt with paper tape (removable); framed.
"THE ONLY PIECE THAT EXHIBITS THE AMERICAN METHOD OF BUSH FIGHTING"
FIRST ENGLISH EDITION. A fine copy of the exceptionally rare London engraving of the Battle of Lake George. Jefferys's version appeared barely six weeks after Samuel Blodgett published his original in Boston, and it differs substantially from the virtually unobtainable Boston issue (Jefferys shows the map of the Hudson on the left of the print, the title runs in two-lines across the top, and he dispenses with the dedication to Gov. Shirley). The two engagements depicted are the ambuscade carried out by the French and Indian forces under Marshal Ludwig August Dieskau, and the successful counterattack by Sir William Johnson's colonial force. The Indians were hidden in bushes and struck the Americans from the rear, while French regulars confronted the center, sending the colonials in retreat to breastworks on the south banks of Lake George. Col. Ephraim Williams and Hendrick (the English name for the Mohawk sachem, Tiyanoga) were killed in this fight, with Johnson also suffering a leg wound (Williams was the benefactor and namesake of Williams College). But the American colonials counterattacked with a deadly charge over their breastworks that sent the French retreating in disarray to Crown Point. The battle marked the first instance in which American colonials defeated a regular army force without the assistance of British regulars. This depiction of the event was also a notable first: Jefferys boasted that his plan was "the only Piece that exhibits the American method of Bush Fighting." Shadwell 23; Winsor, Narrative and Critical History, 5:586, n.4. RARE. The only other example to appear at auction in the last 40 years is the hand-colored Middendorf-Guthman copy, Sothebys, 1 Dec. 2005, lot 190.
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