1877 Harris View Map of Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, during Washington's Encampment

ValleyForge-harris-1877
$1,200.00
Topographic View of Valley Forge During the Encampment of Washington's Army in the Winter of 1777 - 78. - Main View
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1877 Harris View Map of Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, during Washington's Encampment

ValleyForge-harris-1877

Hardship and Training at Valley Forge.
$1,200.00

Title


Topographic View of Valley Forge During the Encampment of Washington's Army in the Winter of 1777 - 78.
  1877 (undated)     22 x 30.25 in (55.88 x 76.835 cm)

Description


This is a c. 1877 George S. Harris map of Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, and the Continental Army encampment during the American Revolutionary War. Buildings are illustrated in profile, including General George Washington's headquarters, the headquarters of other officers, the arsenal, and huts housing soldiers. Soldiers are illustrating drilling with Baron von Steuben's newly introduced tactics. Redoubts (fortifications) underscore the very real threat of enemy attack.
Valley Forge the Army Encampment
During the winter of 1777 - 1778, George Washington and the Continental Army wintered at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. Washington chose Valley Forge due to its proximity to Philadelphia (captured by the British in 1777) and defensible location on a high plateau. From December 19, 1777, through June 19, 1778, soldiers built between 1,600 and 2,000 log huts for the officers and enlisted men.
Valley Forge as National Myth
The winter at Valley Forge became an American legend due to the hardships the soldiers endured. The army entered Valley Forge as a disheartened, near defeated force facing a brutally cold winter with limited supplies. They emerged as a well trained, cohesive fighting force that went on to win the American Revolution and secure independence.

The British had captured Philadelphia in 1777, forcing out the Continental Congress. Congress Representatives encouraged Washington to encamp near Philadelphia in the hopes that a winter campaign could retake Philadelphia. At the time, the Army faced serious supply shortages with many soldiers wearing inadequate uniforms. Nonetheless, hardship and privation were part of everyday life for the Continental Army, so the suffering at Valley Forge, while unfortunate, was consistent with conditions elsewhere.

The Valley Forge experience was nonetheless significant for the arrival of former Prussian officer Baron Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben (1730 - 1794). Steuben introduced modern training and fighting techniques. Over the long winter he molded the ragtag Continental Armey into a cohesive fighting force. Washington also convinced Congress to reorganize the supply-line system, which resolved the crippling shortages.
Publication History and Census
This map was published by George S. Harris and Son c. 1877. We note a single example in OCLC, at Cornell University. A example is located at the Huntington Library. This map is scarce on the private market, as we have been able to trace only one other instance when it has come to market.

Cartographer


George S. Harris (1823 - July 7, 1891) was an American lithographer and letterpress printer. Born in Bridgeton, New Jersey, Harris set up shop in Philadelphia, where h was active from 1847 until his death in 1891. His firm produced maps, calendars, stamped envelopes, circulars, lithographic trade cards, and can and cigar box labels. In 1872, his eldest son George T. Harris (b. January 1851) joined the firm as a partner, and it was renamed George S. Harris and Son. His younger sons William T. Harris (b. c. 1856) and Frank S. Harris (b. c. 1861) joined the firm in 1880 and 1889, respectively. The firm then became George S. Harris and Sons. George S. Harris and Sons was the largest lithographic firm in Philadelphia by the late 1880s, employing around 600 people and shipping products worldwide. After George S. Harris' death in 1891, his sons operated the firm for approximately another ten years, before they partnered with Joseph Knapp to form the American Lithographic Company, which was based in New York. Learn More...

Condition


Good. Excellent professional restoration on verso. Closed tears professionally repaired on verso. Small areas of loss not effecting most intriguing parts of map.

References


OCLC 55494254.