Plan of the military & naval operations, under the command of the immortal Wolfe, & Vice Admiral Saunders, before Quebec

http://perec.mcmaster.ca/maps/omeka/artsci3bb3/2016/macrepo_31112.jpg

Dublin Core

Title

Plan of the military & naval operations, under the command of the immortal Wolfe, & Vice Admiral Saunders, before Quebec

Subject

Québec (Québec)

Description

"Plan of the military & naval operations, under the command of the immortal Wolfe, & Vice Admiral Saunders, before Quebec" is an 1841 topographic map. The map highlights the military actions and units of British, French, and “Indian” forces at the Battle of Quebec (July 12, 1759 - September 18, 1759) during the Seven Years’ War (1756 - 1763) (Gillmor and Turgeon 2001). It specifically pictures the seemingly heroic contributions of Vice Admiral Charles Sanders (British), Major General James Wolfe (British), and the Marquis de Montcalm (French). Surrounding the map of the military operations are four illustrated vignettes: British soldier ascending a cliff face; detailed actions of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham (September 13, 1759); the Goddess of Victory with dedications to Wolfe and Montcalm (McMaster 2013); and a copy of Benjamin West’s 1770 painting, "The Death of General Wolfe" (Gillmor and Turgeon 2001). The cartographer was James Wyld Jr. (1812 - 1887), the royal “Geographer to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert” (Andrews 2009). The piece was published in the city of London in the United Kingdom and dedicated to Alfred Hawkins (1802? - 1854) (McMaster 2013), director of the Quebec Bank and owner of the Morning Herald newspaper (Gordon 2012).

Andrews, J.H. 2009. Maps in Those Days: Cartographic Methods Before 1850. Dublin, Ireland: Four Courts Press.

Gillmor, D. & Turgeon, P. 2001. Canada - A People’s History: Volume One. Toronto, Canada: McClelland & Stewart Ltd.

Gordon, A. 2012. ‘Where Famous Heroes Fell’: Toursim, History, and Liberalism in Old Quebec. In Remembering 1759: The Conquest of Canada in Historical Memory, ed. P. Buckner and J.G. Reid, 58-81. Toronto, Canada: University of Toronto Press.

McMaster University. 2013. Plan of the military & naval operations, under the command of the immortal Wolfe, & Vice Admiral Saunders, before Quebec. http://digitalarchive.mcmaster.ca/islandora/object/macrepo%3A31112

Creator

Wyld, James, 1812-1887

Publisher

Jas. Wyld

Date

1841

Contributor

Mackenzie Gillies

Rights

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License

Relation

Full-sized digital item can be found in McMaster's Digital Archive at: http://digitalarchive.mcmaster.ca/islandora/object/macrepo%3A31112

Format

61 x 77 cm, on sheet 65 x 79 cm

Language

English

Type

Cartographic

Identifier

RMC_107401

Coverage

North America--Canada--Quebec--Quebec--Saint Lawrence River

Still Image Item Type Metadata

Original Format

Printed map. "To the members of the United Services of the British Empire, whose daring achievements this plan is designed to commemorate & honor & to whom it is respectfully dedicated, by their obedient servant, Alfred Hawkins." In lower, right corner, "J. Wyld, Sculp." Two visual scales [150 mm = 60 French arpents / 135 mm = 2 British statute miles]. Includes insets: [British soldiers climbing fortification]; "Death of General Wolfe from the celebrated painting by West"; "Detail of the action fought on the Plains of Abraham Septr. 13th. 1759"; and, [Goddess of victory and lion with dedication]. Described in Catalogue of the National Map Collection, vol. 3, H2/349-Quebec-1759(1841), p. 651: "This plan shows the dispositions of the English and French forces during the siege of Quebec, 1759. The accompanying text gives details as to military strength of Quebec, the British military forces, and the encampments at Montmorenci, Point Orleans, Point Levi and Pointe Des Peres." In lower left margin, "Proof". Acquired as part of the Hodsoll Collection.

Physical Dimensions

61 x 77 cm, on sheet 65 x 79 cm

Contributor's Research

James Wyld’s 1841 map, ""Plan of the military & naval operations, under the command of the immortal Wolfe, & Vice Admiral Saunders, before Quebec"" initially presents an overtly pro-British sentiment. Indeed, the Battle of Quebec (July 12, 1759 - September 18, 1759) was a decisive victory for the United Kingdom over the Kingdom of France (Gillmor and Turgeon 2001). However, the piece also includes a picture dedicated to “the brave who fell before Quebec”, particularly the fallen generals, James Wolf (British) and the Marquis de Montcalm (French). This historical map analysis investigates the reasons behind this seemingly contradictory depiction of messages and argues that this vignette portrays a message of respect and unity between the British and French peoples of Quebec City and Lower Canada.

First, it is necessary to understand the techniques used in the portrayal of this illustration in order to unpack its significance. The picture presented in this vignette is the Goddess of Victory (McMaster 2013) holding a shield adorned with the British flag. She is adjacent to a lion, a symbol of British power, and a white monument. Engraved on the dedication is the following: “In honour of the brave who fell before Quebec”. Underneath this message is a wreath surrounding the names of James Wolfe and the Marquis de Montcalm, the respective generals of the British and French forces during the battle (Coutu and McAleer 2012). While this vignette highlights the United Kingdom’s victory over the Kingdom of France, its depiction glorifies and respects the sacrifices of both countries. The use of a neutral colour scheme further reinforces this sentiment, as certain shades could evoke sympathies towards the British or French civilizations. In this way, the piece portrays a humbler and more modest celebration of the United Kingdom’s victory over the Quebec defenders.

The historical context in which this map was published is also important to determine the significance of the vignette. Four years prior to Wyld’s publication of the map, the 1837 Lower Canada Rebellion broke out in the present-day province of Quebec. Several hundred Canadiens, French subjects in the United Kingdom’s North American empire, organized a resistance to imperial rule in response to cultural and economic discrimination (Gillmor and Turgeon 2001). These “Patriotes” ultimately threatened the continued political stability of the Lower Canada colony. This issue was exacerbated by the fact that the bordering United States of America had attempted to conquer the Quebec region in 1775 (Belshaw 2012). A weakened Lower Canada with an anti-British population would be an ideal target for northern expansion by the United States.

Although the rebellion had been quelled, it further exposed the historical tensions between British-Protestant culture and French-Roman Catholic culture. Indeed, this animosity had translated into open warfare during the Seven Years’ War (1756-1763), specifically during the Battle of Quebec. The map even suggests the importance of the engagement as a momentous triumph for the United Kingdom. The language used in the piece underscores the meaning and significance of the British victory at Quebec City. Specifically, James Wolfe is romantically presented as a sacrificial character to whom Benjamin West’s 1770 painting, ""The Death of General Wolfe"", pays tribute (Gillmor and Turgeon 2001). The leader of the United Kingdom’s ground forces is further mythologized through the map’s title, which refers to him as “Immortal”. Wyld’s decision to include a vignette of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, to which Wolfe was killed, also emphasizes his portrayal as a hero of the British Empire (Gillmor and Turgeon 2001). Despite the obvious historical exaggeration, such romanticism is not without meaning. Since the early 17th Century, English and British military forces had failed to conquer Quebec City and the surrounding region (Belshaw 2012). The French defenders had proven particularly effective at repelling enemy invaders, making the United Kingdom’s victory in 1759 historically significant. However, such historical meaning as well as the seemingly propagandist message of the map confounds the original question.

Despite this, examining Alfred Hawkins, to whom the map was dedicated, highlights the significance of the map’s celebration of both Wolfe and Montcalm at the Battle of Quebec. As a local businessman and merchant, Hawkins was an important member of Quebec City’s economic and social life. He owned a non-partisan newspaper, the Morning Herald, and was a historical researcher. Significantly, Hawkins published a tourist text in 1834, ""Hawkins’s Picture of Quebec with Historical Recollections"", which flourished readers with detailed accounts of the city’s past. It further contrasted the liberal institutions of British rule to the traditional lifestyle of the Canadien population (Gordon 2012). This respect for French culture, coupled with the popularity of ""Hawkins’s Picture of Quebec with Historical Recollections"" among visitors from the United Kingdom, suggests Hawkins’ appreciation for Lower Canada as a unique part of the British Empire. Furthermore, in relation to the Battle of Quebec, he stated:
‘[t]o either race the [Plains of Abraham] is sacred’, noting that the French population, ‘fostered by the strength and generosity of British protection, [had] grown from seventy thousand to half a million souls, enjoying a degree of rational liberty and happiness unequalled on the surface of the globe’ (Little 2012). Despite the past cultural and historical tensions, Hawkins seems to shape Quebec history with a myth of unity, or at least co-existence.

The illustration celebrating Wolfe and Montcalm would be consistent with Hawkins’ belief that the British and French peoples could live together. The map’s publication also coincides with growing fears of Lower Canadian disunity following the 1837 Rebellion. Wyld’s publication even downplays any mapping techniques, such as bright colours, that would arouse cultural animosity. The vignette in question memorializes James Wolfe and the Marquis de Montcalm as equals at the Battle of Quebec. Although the United Kingdom was victorious, the piece communicates the message that the French culture was not defeated and remains essential to Lower Canadian society. In doing so, the map portrays the British and French peoples as having a shared history, emphasized by mutual admiration and respect.

Belshaw, J.D. 2012. Canadian History: Pre-Confederation. http://opentextbc.ca/preconfederation/

Coutu, J. & McAleer, J. 2012. ‘The Immortal Wolfe’? Monuments, Memory, and the Battle of Quebec. In Remembering 1759: The Conquest of Canada in Historical Memory, ed. P. Buckner and J.G. Reid, 29-58. Toronto, Canada: University of Toronto Press.

Gillmor, D. & Turgeon, P. 2001. Canada - A People’s History: Volume One. Toronto, Canada: McClelland & Stewart Ltd.

Gordon, A. 2012. ‘Where Famous Heroes Fell’: Toursim, History, and Liberalism in Old Quebec. In Remembering 1759: The Conquest of Canada in Historical Memory, ed. P. Buckner and J.G. Reid, 58-81. Toronto, Canada: University of Toronto Press.

Little, J.I. 2012. In Search of the Plains of Abraham: British, American, and Canadian Views of a Symbolic Landscape, 1793-1913. In Remembering 1759: The Conquest of Canada in Historical Memory, ed. P. Buckner and J.G. Reid, 82-109. Toronto, Canada: University of Toronto Press.

McMaster University. 2013. Plan of the military & naval operations, under the command of the immortal Wolfe, & Vice Admiral Saunders, before Quebec. http://digitalarchive. mcmaster.ca/islandora/object/macrepo%3A31112"

Citation

Wyld, James, 1812-1887, “Plan of the military & naval operations, under the command of the immortal Wolfe, & Vice Admiral Saunders, before Quebec,” Omeka Testbed, accessed September 26, 2017, http://mapexhibit.mcmaster.ca/items/show/27.