Claude Joseph Sauthier

Illustrator, draftsman, surveyor and mapmaker. Claude J. Sauthier was born Nov. 10 1736 in Strasbourg, France. His early training was as illustrator and draughtsman, influenced by master garden designers such as D’Argenville and Le Blond. He trained as a surveyor, likely in the great, and innovating surveys of Alsace in the 1750s. In 1767, William Tryon, Governor of the British Colony of North Carolina, employed Sauthier to carry out survey work in the colony, producing high quality town plans of 10 towns such as Fayettville and Wilmington, designing gardens at the Governor’s House in New Bern, and supplying the survey work for John Collet’s ‘Compleat Map of North Carolina (1770).

In 1771, Tryon was made Governor of New York, and Sauthier accompanied him there preparing surveys of the province. He also surveyed the boundary between New York Province and Quebec.

On the outbreak of hostilities in the Revolutionary War, Sauthier’s surveys provided the basis for important military maps of the province. He was employed by General William Howe to map Staten Island for the British Army, and then surveyed and mapped Fort Washington on Manhattan Island, after it was stormed and taken by troops under the command of the Earl Percy, later the 2nd Duke of Northumberland. The association and friendship of Earl Percy and Claude Sauthier, was to continue for many years.

Earl Percy retained Sauthier on his staff when he was sent to command the troops in Rhode Island, and in May 1777, when Earl Percy was released from military service, Sauthier accompanied him, as his personal secretary, to the family estates in Alnwick and Syon House between Brentford and Isleworth. During these years, Sauthier resided on the Percy Estates, surveying and producing maps of the localities. In 1786, Earl Percy succeeded to become the 2nd Duke of Northumberland, on the death of his father. In the same year Sauthier produced a map of Hulne Park, with maps of Alnwick, Cawledge Park, the manor of Denwick, and Alnmouth appearing in 1788. His well-known maps of Twickenham and the manor of Isleworth also appeared in 1786/87.   

In 1790, Sauthier returned to his native Strasbourg, where he later died, aged 66, on Nov. 26, 1802. Alnwick Castle archives contains many Sauthier maps and manuscripts.