DCSAR held its annual Holiday Dinner on December 3, 2020 at 6:30 PM. The virtual dinner was highlighted with a presentation by Dr. Jim Ambuske on the Richard H. Brown Revolutionary War Map Collection which was recently donated to the Library. Featuring over 1,000 individual objects that date between 1740 and 1799 – including manuscript and print maps, bound atlases, watercolor views sheds, and other documents – the collection will offer new opportunities for researching and teaching the history of the American Revolution, Early Republic, and eighteenth-century cartography.
The maps, some of them one-of-kind, drawn in pen, ink and watercolor, come from the collection of Richard H. Brown, a businessman, author and expert on Revolutionary War-era maps and images.
The Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington’s recent acquisition of the Richard H. Brown Revolutionary War Map Collection positions the Library as one of the world’s leading centers for the study of cartography in the era of the American Revolution.
Dr. Ambuske is the Digital Historian at the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon. He leads the Center for Digital History at the Washington Library, and directs a number of projects, including the Digital Encyclopedia of George Washington.
Dr. Ambuske discussed the watercolor collection of Charlestown, MA by British officer Richard Williams, done shortly after the Battle of Bunker Hill in June 1775. He focused on the ink and watercolor manuscript panoramic view depicting the area around Boston during the siege after the Battle of Bunker Hill, as seen from across the river at Beacon Hill. The maps are useful to communicate events of the early Revolutionary War period since we do not have any photographs.