The Frenchman's Map of Williamsburg, Virginia
The restoration and recreation of Williamsburg, Virginia, into the attraction now known as Colonial Williamsburg, owes a great deal to the existence of the so-called "Frenchman's Map." The original map was likely created for the purposes of billeting French troops in the winter of 1781–1782, after the Siege at Yorktown. The map itself was lost for more than a century, and then rediscovered in 1909 in a small library in Norfolk. The details that it offered helped to organize excavation efforts early in Colonial Williamsburg's restoration by guiding archeologists to the location of original foundations. While historians have occasionally referred to the map as the "Bible of the restoration," it has proven to be neither perfectly accurate nor entirely complete in its rendering. This is a black-and-white photograph of the map produced for the Library of Congress; the original is housed at the Swem Library at the College of William and Mary.