Quebec: The Capital of New France

Thomas Johnston

Advertised for sale in The Boston News-Letter in the run-up to the Seven Years War, this view of Quebec was engraved by a certain Thomas Johnston immediately prior to the final battle that led to the French loss of Canada to the British. Although the advertisement claimed that the engraving was based on a French original in Paris, it is now known to be copied from the inset of a map by French geographer Nicolas de Fer from early in the eighteenth century. Its advertisement in a Boston newspaper is particularly relevant: New Englanders made up the vast majority of the military force that had successfully seized Louisbourg (in today’s Nova Scotia) the previous year (1758), and they were keenly interested in the fate of New France, which they long considered a threat to New England shipping.

More From The Collection