Chez Basset, publisher
By the end of June 27, the British occupants of St. John’s had surrendered.
The French undertook their military action as the Seven Years’ War was coming to an end, and, before peace negotiations began, because they wanted to secure a North American port as a naval and fishing-industry base. Their success did not last. When news of the occupation reached Britain, a task force was sent across the Atlantic to take back the port and the surrounding countryside. That happened on Sept. 20. When the Treaty of Paris was signed the next year, France ceded its North American territories.
The print, with the title in the top margin printed backward, was rendered in reversed format for viewing through a lens-and-mirror device called a Zograscope which ‘flipped’ the image for the viewer to its proper perspective and enhanced the hand-colouring spectacularly while providing a stunning ‘3-D’ effect. These type pf prints were known as ‘vues d’optiques’, ‘perspective views’ and ‘lantern prints’. Viewing them was a form of entertainment popular at street fairs and in the shops of print sellers. For a few pennies at a time, the curious public could ‘witness’ the battle for St. John’s taking place.