Sketch of the Town & Environs of Port Louis Explanatory of the Operations of the British Army under the Command of Majr. Genl. the Honble. Jne. Abercrombie. Drawn by the Author. Decr. 1810 [manuscript title]
[N.p., but possibly Port Louis. mid- 19th century]. Manuscript sheet map, 10¼ x 13½ inches. On drafting linen. Handcolored. Old fold. Minor toning.
Manuscript map depicting troop deployments on the island of Mauritius in December of 1810, when the British finally overcame the French defenses and captured the island. The area from Grande Baie to Grande Riviere is shown, with the coast and terrain in between, documenting the route from the point of debarkation to the town of Port Louis. The legend gives different colored bars for troop positions on the subsequent days of the march, and includes figures for denoting passable and impassable routes. A similar manuscript map is described by Toussaint in his bibliography of Mauritius. The Dutch were the first Europeans to become interested in the island, taking possession in 1598. After exploiting the island's dense forests for a century and introducing the cultivation of sugar cane and cotton, the Dutch abandoned the colony in 1710. The French soon claimed it as "Ile de France," and the island remained under the control of the French East India Company until 1767. During the long war between France and England at the beginning of the 19th century, Mauritius proved to be an important strategic naval base, and as a result the British took charge of the island in 1810, and the Treaty of Paris confirmed official British possession in 1814. It remained an important sugar producing colony, and in the 20th century agricultural production was expanded to include tea, rice, and other produce. A handsome map illustrating a key event in the island's history.
Toussaint, F599 (ref).