Plan de la Baie de Monterey
La Perouse, Jean-Francois de Galaup, comte de
Date of Creation:
First edition, derived entirely from original sources and the earliest obtainable map of the region. Showing the Presidio and the Mission of St. Charles, anchorages, rocky outcrops. La Perouse landed at Monterey in September of 1786, and remained there for nine days before embarking to the Philippines.
La Perouse’s was "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 its accompanying 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 eighteenth century" (Howell).