Catalog Archive
Auction 168, Lot 691


"Massacre of De Langle, Lemanon & Ten Others of the Two Crews", La Perouse, Comte Jean F. Galoup, de

Subject: American Samoa

Period: 1798 (dated)

Publication: Charts and Plates to La Perouse's Voyage...

Color: Black & White

11.9 x 7.9 inches
30.2 x 20.1 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 striking engraving depicts the horrific scene that unfolded on the island Tutuila (part of American Samoa) on December 11th, 1787. La Perouse's expedition landed on the island hoping to retrieve fresh food and water, but they were distracted by the native women, setting off a complex series of events that lead to the death of 12 members of the expedition and 39 Samoans. Among the dead was Paul Antoine Fleuriot de Langle, the commander of the Astrolabe and La Perouse's closest friend. The shocking scene was drawn by Ozanne and engraved by Heath. It appeared in the supplementary volume to the English edition of La Perouse's Voyage Round the World, published by G.G & J Robinson.


Condition: B+

A nice impression with light scattered foxing. There are a few damp stains and a small chip along the edges of the sheet.

Estimate: $110 - $140


Closed on 6/6/2018