LA PEROUSE, Jean François Galaup de (1741-1788). Chart of the North West Coast of America, Explored by the Boussole & Astrolabe in 1786. 2.d Sheet. London: G.G. & J. Robinson, Nov.r 1798.
Single sheet (17 x 22 inches). Fine engraved map of the northwest coast of America from Cape Redondo in the south to B. de Clonard in the north (old vertical folds).
A fine map, from the English edition of "Charts and Plates to La Perouse's Voyage", showing the Washington and British Columbia coastline from Cape Redondo north to B. de Clonard, near the Queen Charlotte Islands. Also shown are Nootka (Vancouver Island), Woode Pt., B. St. Louis, C. Fleurieu, C. Hector, and Be. De la Touche and names Mt. Fleurieu and Mt. De la Touche. The track of the Boussole and Astrolabe are shown and soundings given.
The voyage of La Perouse is "one of the most important scientific explorations ever undertaken to the Pacific and the west coast of North America. In 1785 this expedition sailed from France with La Perouse in command of two frigates; he captained the "Boussole", while her sister ship, the "Astrolabe", was captained by Paul-Antoine Langle. The charge to the expedition was to examine such parts of the region as had not been explored by Captain Cook; to seek for an interoceanic passage; to make scientific observations on the various countries, peoples, and products; to obtain reliable information about the fur trade and the extent of the Spanish settlements in California; and to promote the inducements for French enterprise in that quarter. The voyage also included the first foreign scientific group ever to visit Alta California, in 1786. Accounts are given of Easter Island, Hawaii, Macao, Formosa, the Aleutian Islands, Samoa, Tonga, and Australia... The two ships set sail from Botany Bay, in 1788 and were never heard of again" (Hill). The expedition and this atlas are especially regarded for superb mapping of the Alaskan and Californian coasts. Maps include San Diego, Monterey, and the whole of the Northwest coast. "It is one of the finest narratives of maritime exploration ever written, and certainly deserves to hold a place of high honor among the great travel accounts of the 18th century" (Howell). Ferguson 251; Hill, p.173; Sabin 38960.