[Paris]: [De l'Imprimerie de la Republique], . First French edition. Large wide-margined copper-engraved double-page map, plate size ca. 82,5x66,5 cm (32 ½ x 26 in); the whole map with the margins ca. 99x67 cm (39 x 26 ¼ in). Prime meridian Greenwich. Centrefold, occasional minor stains, but overall a very good bright map.
Map no. 6 from the first French edition of the official account of Vancouver’s exploratory voyage in search of Northwest Passage («Voyage de découvertes a l'Ocean Pacifique du Nord, et autour du monde dans lequel la côte nord-ouest de l'Amérique a été soigneusement reconnue et exactement revelée… et exécuté en 1790, 1791, 1792, 1793, 1794 et 1795, par le Capitaine George Vancouver», Paris, 1800, 3 vols. text & atlas). The map, which is considered the most valuable out of the Atlas, shows in detail the coast of modern-day British Columbia, Washington and a northern tip of Oregon, from Hunter and Calvert Islands in the north down to the mouth of Columbia River and Cape Lookout in the south. The map gives a beautiful outline of the coast of Vancouver Island and numerous fjords and islands of the BC part of the Inside Passage, as well as of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the Gulf Islands, and Puget Sound. The track of Vancouver’s ship is marked, with the dates of their movements and places of anchorage, including Port Susan and Port Orchard (Puget Sound), Friendly Cove (Nootka Sound), Deep Sea Bluff (Tribune Channel), etc. The three inserts show the mouth of the Columbia River, Grays Harbour (Washington) and Port Discovery (now Discovery Bay, Washington). "George Vancouver, who had served on Captain Cook's second and third voyages, was made commander of a grand-scale expedition to reclaim Britain's rights, resulting from the Nootka Convention, at Nootka Sound, to examine thoroughly the coast south of 60' in order to find a possible passage to the Atlantic, and to learn what establishments had been founded by other powers. This voyage became one of the most important made in the interests of geographical knowledge. Vancouver sailed by way of the Cape of Good Hope to Australia, where he discovered King George's Sound and Cape Hood, then to New Zealand, Hawaii, and the northwest coast of America. In three season's work Vancouver surveyed the coast of California, visited San Francisco, San Diego (one of the folded charts, dated 1798, depicts the port of San Diego), and other Spanish settlements in Alta California; settled the necessary formalities with the Spanish at Nootka; investigated the Strait of Juan de Fuca; discovered the Strait of Georgia; Circumnavigated Vancouver Island; and disproved the existence of any passage between the Pacific and Hudson's Bay. Vancouver died before the narrative was finished; his brother John, assisted by Captain Peter Puget, edited and published the complete record" (Hill 1753). "The voyage was remarkable for the accuracy of its surveys, the charts of the coasts surveyed needing little improvement to the present day. When Charles Wilkes resurveyed Puget Sound for the U.S. Navy in 1841, he was amazed at the accuracy Vancouver had achieved under such adverse conditions and despite his failing health. Well into the 1880's Vancouver's charts of the Alaskan coastline remained the accepted standard" (Howgego V13). “Copies of the French edition are printed both in a more attractive manner and on better paper than the English edition” (Hawaiian National Bibliography 324). Lada-Mocarski 55; Sabin 98441. Cox II p. 30-31.
Price: $2,500.00 USD