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1761 Blanchard & Langdon
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1761 Blanchard & Langdon

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An important early map of New England was published in 1761 – the Blanchard & Langdon Map of New Hampshire. It is notable for its the state of affairs in the mid 1750s- at the time of the French & Indian War.

bl_1761_0_nhd_wb2The map shows much more than present-day  New Hampshire – it includes all of today’s Vermont and large areas of Maine, Quebec and even parts of New York and Massachusetts.

bl_det_nhsea_webAlthough published in 1761, most of the conditions were those of four years earlier, about 1757, for this map exists in two original states – the version published in London in 1761, and the manuscript of 1757 which is preserved at the Library of Congress.

bl_det_fortno4Notable features of the map are its depiction of several colonial Forts – both French and English and historic notations about the struggle for control of this area.

Here we see  Fort #4 (in modern Charlestown, NH), in active use in the 1740s and 50s. The road leading northwest is the Crown Point Military Road, built while this map was being created. The road does not appear on the 1757 manuscript map (see below).

The map also shows about 100 townships – most concentrated in the southern part of New Hampshire, with a few in southern Vermont.
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bl_det1c_lakec_french_web

To the north, in what will become northern Vermont, it shows French occupation of Lake Champlain.

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bl_det_nh_whitehills_web

Natural features like the White Mountains and the major rivers appear prominently on the map just as they were on the colonial landscape.

When this map was created these lands were the subject of conflict – both military and political. The military conflict involved the titanic struggle between England and France for the control of North America.

Also, within the English colonies – most of the land shown on this map – there was a territorial struggle.

The land which was to become Vermont was at the center of this conflict. New York and New Hampshire each wanted this territory. Blanchard and Langdon’s map shows a few towns in future Vermont- towns which were created by the New Hampshire government to preempt New York claims.
This map was re-engraved for the 1784 edition by Abel Sawyer.

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