POWNALL, After Thomas (1722-1805)
A View of the Falls on the Passaick, or second River, on the Province of New Jersey, The height of the Fall between Eighty and Ninety feet, the River about Eighty Yards broad. Vue de la Cataracte du Passaick, ou second Riviere, dans la province du Nouveau Jersey. La Hauteur de cette Chute est de 80 á 90 pieds, et la Largeur de la Riviere d'environ 40 Toises. Sketch'd on the Spot by his Excellency Governor Pownal. Painted and Engraved by Paul Sandby
London: Thomas Jefferys, 1761. Copper engraving by Paul Sandby, after Pownall, trimmed along or within platemark. Image size (including text): 12 3/4 x 20 inches. Sheet size: 14 1/8 x 20 3/4 inches.
A dramatic view of the Great Falls on the Passaic River in New Jersey.
Pownall's image of the Great Falls of the Passaic is designed to show a great natural force of Nature. The swirling rush of water roars amid the jagged rocks and untamed forest. Two little people, barely visible on a precipice overlooking the falls emphasize the greatness of the torrent. Though later the falls would become the source of power for early American industry, here is simply a source of awe. This fine print from the famously rare Scenographia Americana series is after a drawing by Thomas Pownal, lieutenant governor of New Jersey 1755-56 and colonial governor of Massachusetts, 1757-60. 'Pownall held liberal views on the connection of England with its colonies, and was a staunch friend to the American provinces. He explained his sentiments in his famous work on The Administration of the Colonies, 1764, stating that his object was to fuse all these Atlantic and American possessions into one Dominion.' (DNB).