Plan du Port de St. Diego en Californie situe par 32°39'0 de latitude nord et 12°4'0 a l'ouest de St. Blas. Leve en 1782. / Plan du Port de du Departement de St. Blas situe par 21°30' de latitude nd. et 88°15' a l'ouest de Teneriffe et a 107°15' a l'ouest de Paris.
1797 (undated) 20 x 13.5 in (50.8 x 34.29 cm)
1 : 100000
The earliest obtainable printed map of San Diego, preceded only by rare maps by Dalyrmple and a few other equally unobtainable works. This map of San Diego was issued for the atlas of Jean-François de Galaup, Comte de La Pérouse's, voyages. The image consists of two maps on a single sheet. The upper map focuses on San Diego Bay, covering from Mission Bay to roughly the Tijuana River, although that river is not shown. The Presidio de St. Diego is identified roughly on the site of the modern day city of San Diego. Further south, near National City, the Ranchiere de la s Choyas is noted. Further south still, near the modern day Otay River, an American Indian village is noted. Cartographically this map is derived from the maps of Don Juan Pantoja y Arriola, a Spanish sea captain active on the Acapulco-Manila route in the late 18th century. In addition to crossing the Pacific, he made several coastal runs to San Diego, Monterray, and San Francisco, among other locations on the California coast – where he also completed surveys. Somewhere along this route he must have met La Perouse, who was then surveying the western coast of America, and passed on manuscript versions of his surveys. These found their way into La Perouse's journals and were subsequently published posthumously in Paris. La Perouse probably never actually entered into San Diego Bay and relied solely on Pantoja's manuscript charts for his information.
The second map illustrates San Blas, Nayarit, Mexico. It too follows the cartography of Pantoja although much has changed since this port was surveyed. The excellent harbor has largely silted up and the town of San Blas has expanded significantly into the harbor area displayed here.
La Perouse died tragically on a shipwreck near the Solomon Islands. His journals were shipped back to Europe from Australia before the shipwreck and posthumously published in 1797, along with an accompanying atlas volume, from which this map was drawn, Atlas du voyage de La Perouse. A similar looking map was published by the order of Mexican president Guadalupe Victoria in 1825, but is vastly updated over the present original publication.
Jean François de Galaup, Comte de La Pérouse (August 23, 1741 - 1788) was a French naval officer, navigator, and explorer active in the later part of the 18th century. Born into a noble family of Albi, France, La Perouse entered the navel college of Brest at just 15. At seventeen La Perouse made his first naval voyage, a supply expedition to the fort of Louisbourg in New France. He later participated in a number of naval battles, mostly against the English, and eventually rose to the rank of Commodore. In 1782 he captured the English forts Prince of Wales and York, making a name for himself back in France. Following the British defeat at the end of the American Revolutionary War, La Perouse was appointed by Louis XVI to lead an expedition of discovery circumnavigating the globe. The goal of the expedition was to complete and correct the maps of the Pacific drawn by Captain Cook. La Perouse's two frigates, the Astrolabe and the Boussole rounded Cape Horn and entered the Pacific in 1785. Crisscrossing the Pacific from Macau and Japan to Alaska, Vancouver, and the Hawaiian Islands Perouse made numerous discoveries and adding considerably to the cartographic corpus, particularly along the coast of British Columbia and around Japan. In Australia La Perouse sent his last letter back to France containing all of his maps and research. Tragically, on the return voyage La Perouse ran into a violent storm which left both of his frigates shipwrecked on the Polynesian island of Vanikoro, part of the Santa Cruz Group. Some of the survivors of the shipwrecks seem to have managed to live on the island for years afterwards. As late as 1790 the English Captain Edward Edwards saw smoke signals coming from Vanikoro but foolishly declined to investigate. Expeditions in 2005 and in 2008 identified the remains of both ships and retuned numerous artifacts from the ill-fated expedition to France. The importance of La Perouse's discoveries was, unfortunately, not seriously appreciated until many years later because, when the La Perouse maps were finally published in 1797, newer more accurate maps of the region were already in circulation. Nonetheless, La Perouse remains of the titans of Pacific exploration and he work paved the path forward for all future expeditions to the region.
La Perouse, Jean-Francois de Galaup, comte de, Atlas du voyage de La Perouse, (Paris) 1797.
Very good. Original folds exhibits slight wear. Some offsetting.
Rumsey 233.029. Wagner, H. R., The Cartography of the Northwest Coast of America To the Year 1800, #848. Harlow, N., Maps of the Pueblo Lands of San Diego 1602-1874, 9. Shirley, R., Maps in the atlases of the British Library, G.LPR-1a #33.