Plan of the Encampment and Position of the Army

Plan of the Encampment and Position of the Army under His Excelly. Lt. General Burgoyne at Braemus Heights…, 1780. Scottish Rite Masonic Museum and Library, RARE, G3803 .S3 S3 1780.

Founded in 1975, The Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library chronicles the story of the Freemasons throughout American history, with a specific focus on the importance of fraternal relations. The Museum serves as the “historical society” of American Freemasonry, and it strives to uphold its values and history in the success of the nation by collecting and preserving artifacts that relate to fraternalism and Masonry in America.

In addition to long-term and online exhibitions, the Museum frequently hosts temporary exhibits relevant to Masonic and American History. The Scottish Rite Masonic Museum and Library is pleased to announce, Maps of the American Revolution, on view now through February 9, 2019. The maps displayed are crucial to the understanding of the American fight for freedom, not only because of the information they contain but also because of their origins. Produced in London in the years immediately following the Revolution, these maps provide special insight into the warfare tactics of the British and how battles were fought and won before modern technology.

Plan Of The Siege Of Yorktown


Plan of the Siege of York Town in Virginia, 1794. Scottish Rite Masonic Museum and Library, RARE G3884 .Y6 S3 1794.

Founded in 1975, The Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library chronicles the story of the Freemasons throughout American history, with a specific focus on the importance of fraternal relations. The Museum serves as the “historical society” of American Freemasonry, and it strives to uphold its values and history in the success of the nation by collecting and preserving artifacts that relate to fraternalism and Masonry in America.

In addition to long-term and online exhibitions, the Museum frequently hosts temporary exhibits relevant to Masonic and American History. The Scottish Rite Masonic Museum and Library is pleased to announce, Maps of the American Revolution, on view now through February 9, 2019. The maps displayed are crucial to the understanding of the American fight for freedom, not only because of the information they contain but also because of their origins. Produced in London in the years immediately following the Revolution, these maps provide special insight into the warfare tactics of the British and how battles were fought and won before modern technology

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The British government painstakingly surveyed the land of future battle sights of the American Revolution and recreated them in two-dimensional form, in order to better understand the landscape and recognize colonist fighting tactics. By having visuals of the topography, the British military was able to anticipate the methods and movements of the opposing forces, which helped them to better prepare their troops for battle. Additionally, while these maps were pertinent to the preparations of the British prior to the Revolution, they were also crucial to the soldiers on the ground in the midst of the war. Without these maps, the British would have had little chance of successfully fighting on unknown territory.

Because these maps were such a critical element in preparing for battle, they eventually became a means of propaganda for those remaining in Great Britain who were unable to fight overseas. The American Colonies were oftentimes considered a mystery, and it did not take much to pique British interest, especially when loved ones were fighting abroad. To garner a spirit of nationalism and pride, many publishers engraved the initial pen and ink sketches of the maps and sold them to the public to commemorate the various battles that took place. This trend quickly became popular as it also helped keep civilians up-to-date with the happenings of the Revolution, and the production of maps even continued long after the war was over.

In the years following, cartographers continued updating maps as new territory lines were drawn and towns were renamed. In doing so, historians, military leaders, and interested citizens were, and still are, able to gain a deeper understanding of how certain events and battles unfolded. In more ways than one, these maps tell the secrets of how the Americans conquered and won their Revolution.

American Freemasonry History

To visit “Maps of the American Revolution,” visit the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library located in Lexington, MA. Now until September 3rd, the Museum is open Tuesdays through Thursdays between the hours of 10 A.M. and 4 P.M. Admission and parking are free. Private and group tours are available for those desiring a more in-depth experience. For directions to the Museum, more information on tours, and for any other questions you may have, please visit The Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library.