Boston Public Library
Exhibitions

Contest for Empire – Item 2 of 7

Johnston
Thomas Johnston. A Chart of Canada River, 1746
After the conquest of Louisburg, Governor Shirley began organizing an attack on Quebec. During the preparations, this chart of the St. Lawrence River was engraved by Johnston, a “Boston house painter, japanner, engraver, painter of coats of arms, church singer, publisher of singing-books and pioneer New England builder of organs.” The chart notes French settlements and provides some hydrographic data, all based on an unidentified “French draft.” Given how little was known about the area, it was fortunate that the expedition was cancelled, perhaps due to British concerns that another military success might encourage the colonies to pursue a more independent course.

 

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