1797 map of San Diego and San Blas


After Juan Pantoja. “Plan du Port de St. Diego en Californie.”/”Plan du Port et du Département de St. Blas.” 19 1/4 x 13. Engraving by L. Aubert. Map from Jean Francois de Galaup, Comte de la Pérouse’s Atlas de Voyage de la Pérouse. Paris, 1797. Engraving. With some light spotting and a few soft creases in places, but overall very good condition.

SKU: 1-2119 Categories: ,


Jean Francois de Galaup, Comte de la Pérouse (1741-1788) was a French naval officer and navigator who participated in a number of naval actions against the British, eventually rising to the rank of Commodore. Following the end of the American Revolution, King Louis XVI appointed Pérouse to lead a French expedition around the world, inspired by their rivalry with the British and trying to out-do James Cook’s famous expeditions to the Pacific.

Pérouse sailed with two ships, the Boussole and the Artrolabe, and an extensive library, including the narrative of Cook, leaving France in 1785 and spent the next several years criss-crossing the Pacific, including visits to both Asian and North American coasts, and islands in the ocean such as Hawaii. Pérouse made many discoveries and produced careful maps. Unfortunately, on his return voyage, the ships ran into a terrible storm and both were shipwrecked on the island of Vankoro (of the Santa Cruz group to the east of the Solomon Islands). There appear to have been some survivors, for as late as 1790, smoke signals were spotted coming from the island, though no one ever investigated and none of Pérouse’s expedition ever returned to France. Luckily, Pérouse had sent his reports and maps back to France from an earlier stop in Australia and these were finally published in 1797. Pérouse sailed along the California coast in 1786 and these maps were included in his report.