"[Lot of 3] Carte Particuliere de la Cote du Nord-Ouest de l'Amerique Reconnue par les Fregates Francaises la Boussole et l'Astrolabe en 1786. 1e. Feuille [and] 2e Feuille [and] 3e Feuille", La Perouse, Comte Jean F. Galoup, de
Subject: Western United States & Canada, Alaska
Period: 1797 (published)
Publication: Atlas du Voyage de la Perouse
Color: Black & White
26.8 x 19.4 inches
68.1 x 49.3 cm
Jean-Francois de Galoup, Comte de La Perouse commanded a French scientific expedition to the Pacific in 1785-88. Recognized as one the foremost naval commanders and navigators in France, he was selected by King Louis XVI to complete Captain James Cook's exploration of the western Pacific. The British Admiralty provided scientific equipment to measure variations in magnetic compass readings and with the latest instruments for determining longitude. La Perouse explored the coasts of the Gulf of Alaska and northwestern North America in search of the fabled Northwest Passage. After leaving America his expedition continued on to Asia where he explored from Macao to Kamchatka and the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific. La Perouse was meticulous in sending copies of his extensive logs, maps and surveying information via other ships as well as overland. La Perouse's last contact was in the spring of 1788 with a British ship in Botany Bay, Australia. The expedition was never heard from again. Considered one of the greatest French voyages, the French Government decided to publish the story of the expedition when it became clear they had been lost. An English edition was published in London.
This set of large-scale maps tracks La Perouse's route along the western coast of North America, depicting only the parts actually surveyed on the voyage. The first map of British Columbia and the southeast coast of Alaska depicts the course from Mt. St. Elias south to Bay de Clonard (Graham Island). Continuing the journey, the second sheet extends from Graham Island south to Cap Rond (Tillamook in present-day Oregon), showing only the parts of the coast surveyed and most significantly missing the mouth of the Columbia River and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The last sheet stretches south to Monterey, California. All three were drawn by Herault and engraved by Bouclet.
References: Falk #1797-7 & 9; Shirley (BL Atlases) G.LPR-1a #17, 29 & 31; Wagner #841, 842, & 845.
Dark impressions on watermarked sheets with minor to light offsetting and minor scattered foxing. The third sheet also has some faint dampstains in the lower right corner of the sheet.