This incredible map shows New York as it appeared in 1782 along with military forts and topographic features. This map was produced long before the grid, long before any Northern expansion of Manhattan, long before the City was anything more than couple thousand people large.
It’s amazing to dive in and see areas labeled which still carry a version of the same name: Turtle Bay, Kipps Bay, Hell Gate, Morisena, Heights of Spikendevil, New Town Creek, Red Hook amongst others.
The successive British Commanders in Chief in America Generals Sir William Howe, Sir Henry Clinton, and Sir Guy Carleton during their respective occupations of New York and Environs in the Revolution caused this manuscript plan from time to time to be kept up. The plan extends from below Guanas Bay to the Heights of Spikendevi, a distance of about eighteen or nineteen miles. It shows the Fortifications, Defenses, Topography, Streets, Roads, etc. of the whole of the Island of New York with the Harbor Islands, Water Ways, and River Frontages on the Hudson and East Rivers, the Military Works on Long Island including Brooklyn, the Works in Paulus Hook and parts of the Jersey Shore. It has a copious Table of References to various works British and American, some of them with notes as to the time of their construction or destruction.