Jean-François de Galaup La Perouse (1741-1788)

La Perouse was born in Albi, France. He entered the navy at 15 and when serving in the Formidable in the battle with Admiral Hawke off Belle-Isle in November 1759 was wounded and captured. Repatriated from England he was posted again to sea duties, where he perfected his techniques as a seaman and navigator and pursued his interest in oceanography. Promoted lieutenant in April 1775 and captain in 1780 after France joined the American war, he had opportunities to distinguish himself as a naval commander. His campaign against the British in Hudson Bay in August 1782 was a signal success, and he demonstrated his humanity by leaving with the remnants of the settlements enough arms and provisions to enable them to preserve themselves during the oncoming winter.

In 1783 the French government resolved to send an expedition to the Pacific to complete Captain James Cook's unfinished work, and in particular to explore the passages in the Bering Sea, which had been a mystery to Europeans since the sixteenth century. King Louis XVI himself took a hand in drafting the plan and itinerary, a copy of which is in the Municipal Library at Rouen, France, and when La Pérouse was selected to lead the fleet gave him an audience before he sailed. In command of two ships, La Boussole and L'Astrolabe (Commandant de Langle), he left Brest on 1 August 1785 making for Brazil. Doubling Cape Horn he refitted in Chile, then sailed to the Sandwich Islands and thence to Alaska, where he turned south exploring and surveying the coast as far as California. After a short refit at Monterey, he sailed across the Pacific, discovered uncharted islands, and visited Macao and Manila. After six weeks reprovisioning and refreshing he left on 10 April 1787 to survey the coasts and territories north of Korea, which had been described and commented on by Christian missionaries. He sailed up the Gulf of Tartary, naming several points on both its shores and learned that Sakhalin was an island. In September he put in to Kamchatka to replenish his supplies. From there he dispatched an officer, Lesseps, overland to Paris with accounts of his discoveries, while he turned south making for New Holland. In December, at Tutuila, Samoa, which Bougainville had called the Navigator Islands when he explored them in 1768, natives suddenly attacked a party from L'Astrolabe seeking water and killed de Langle and eleven others. La Pérouse left without taking reprisals and sailed through the Pacific Islands to Norfolk Island and to Botany Bay. He was sighted off the coast there on 24 January 1788 but bad weather prevented his entering the bay for two days. By then Governor Arthur Phillip had sailed to Port Jackson, but John Hunter had remained with the Sirius and the transports, and assisted La Pérouse to anchor. He established a camp on the northern shore, now called after him, and maintained good relations with the English during his six-week stay. He sailed on 10 March and was not heard of again. His disappearance led the French government in 1791 to equip another expedition under Bruny d'Entrecasteaux to look for him, but the search was fruitless.

As Franco-British relations deteriorated during the revolution unfounded rumours spread in France blaming the British for the tragedy which had occurred in the vicinity of the new colony. It was not until 1828 that the mystery was solved, when Dumont d'Urville ascertained that the La Pérouse expedition was wrecked at Vanikoro, Santa Cruz, north of the New Hebrides. In the meantime the revolutionary government had published the records of the voyage as far as Kamchatka: Voyage De La Pérouse Autour du Monde, 1-4 (Paris, 1797). These volumes are still mines of cartographic and scientific information about the Pacific. Three English translations were published during 1798-99. An anonymous pamphlet Fragmens du Dernier Voyage de la Pérouse (Quimper, 1797), may have been the work of Pére Receveur, a scientist on the expedition who died at Botany Bay on 17 February 1788.

On 17 June 1783 La Pérouse had married Louise-Eléonore Brander of Nantes. They had no children but since his name was taken in 1815 by the husbands of his two sisters, Dalmas and Barthez, it still survives in France.

Jean Francois La Perouse (5)

Sort by:
1786 La Perouse Large Antique Map of British Columbia & Vancouver Isle, Canada

1786 La Perouse Large Antique Map of British Columbia & Vancouver Isle, Canada

  • TitleCarte Particuliere de la Cote du Nord-Ouest de l Amerique reconnue par les Fregates Francaises la Boussole et l Astrolabe en 1786. 2e. Feuille.
  • Ref #:  31912
  • Size: 20 1/2in x 16 1/2in (520mm x 420mm)
  • Date : 1786
  • Condition: (B) Good Condition

Description:
This large very handsome original antique ofWashington, British Columbia & Vancouver Island coastline from Cape Rond or Tillamook Head, Oregon in the south to Baie de Clonard or The Queen Charlotte Islands or Haida Gwaii in the north by Jean-François de Galaup, Comte de la Pérouse in 1786 - dated in the title - was published in the 1st edition of the Atlas du voyage de La Perouse, Paris 1797.

La Perouse set sail from France in 1785 to continue the discoveries of Captain Cook. He was shipwrecked in 1788 but his narrative, maps, and views survived and were published in 1797. 

This is La Perouse's important 1787 map of the west coast of Vancouver Island and the coastlines of Washington and British Columbia. When drawn in 1787 La Perouse's map was the only available map of this region not based on the survey work of Captain Cook.
The map covers the coastline from Cape Rond (Tillamook Head, Oregon) northwards past Vancouver Island as far the north-western top of the Baie de Clonard (The Queen Charlotte Islands or Haida Gwaii). The cartography here may be a little hard to understand for most casual observers due Perouse's use of archaic French language place names and well as a number of major errors. Perouse, like Cook, entirely missed the entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, consequently Vancouver Island is erroneously attached to the mainland. Nonetheless, many of the sites visited by early explorers, including the Nootka Sound, the Bay of St. Louis (Quatsino Sound), Pointe Boisee (Cape Cook), Mont Fleurieu (Silverthrone Mountain), Cape Fleurieu (Goose Island), Cap Hector (Cape St. James), and many others are noted.
Cartographically Perouse's mapping of this region, though still quite incomplete, is a major advancement over the work of Cook who after leaving Nootka Sound was forced offshore by stormed and skipped much of the coast until he reached Alaska near Sitka. This is thus the first chart to map the British Columbia coastline between 49°34' and 57°. In its day the importance of this chart went largely unknown for, though the survey work and original engraving date to 1786, the atlas of La Perouse's discoveries was not officially published until 1798, by which time other more advances mappings of the region had reached the mainstream. Nonetheless, this map is a vital addition to any serious collection focusing on the cartographic development of America's northwest coast.

For much of the time (between 1768 and 1783) while Captain Cook was exploring the North Pacific, Britain and France were at war. Even in times of peace, the Anglo-French rivalry was strong. With the news of Cook’s death in 1779 and the cessation of hostilities in 1783, the French government resolved to mount a competing expedition to the “Great Ocean” (the Pacific Ocean) to “complete various discoveries” and engage in “astronomical observations” and research into physics and natural history. The man entrusted with this mission was Jean-François de Galaup, comte de La Pérouse, an experienced captain in the French navy. He was placed in command of two fine frigates, La Boussole and L’Astrolabe.

La Pérouse sailed west from Brest in August 1785 and on 24 June 1786 made landfall off the coast of present-day southeast Alaska, just below 60˚ N latitude and within view of Mount Saint Elias. For the next three months he sailed south along the coast, eventually reaching Monterey. This map, printed in Paris in 1797 as part of a general atlas of the La Pérouse expedition, show the meticulously charted coastline surveyed by the crews of La Boussole and L’Astrolabe. In contrast to the imaginative speculations of many earlier explorers and cartographers, the areas not explored are left blank by La Pérouse, but he did substitute his own names for many—but not all—of those endowed by Captain Cook. Mount Elias, Cross Sound, and Nootka are shown on the La Pérouse maps but, for example, Cape St. James at the southern tip of Moresby Island in the Queen Charlotte Islands just south of 50˚ N latitude is renamed Cape Hector and Mount Edgecombe (named by Captain Cook) near Sitka at 57˚ N latitude is relabeled Mont Saint-Hyacinthe.

After leaving Monterey, La Pérouse crossed the Pacific to Macao (near Hong Kong) and, in the summer of 1787, worked his way up the Asiatic coast of the Pacific. Encountering difficult and contrary winds as he approached the Bering Strait, he retreated to the Russian port of Petropavlovsk at the southern tip of the Kamchatka Peninsula. There he decided to send a report overland via Russia to Paris. He dispatched Jean, baron de Lesseps, on the eight thousand-mile trans-Siberian journey to France. De Lesseps carried with him the reports, ships’ logs, maps, and sketches made by the expedition to date.

This map were derived from the dispatches carried by de Lesseps. As it turned out, he was the only member of the expedition to complete the circumnavigation; indeed the only member to survive. La Pérouse and his companions left Petropavlovsk just before the ice set and sailed south. Calling at Samoa, the captain of L’Astrolabe and ten of his men were murdered. La Pérouse sailed on, stopping at Tonga, Norfolk Island, and Port Jackson, the newly established British penal colony in New South Wales, Australia. They left Port Jackson in February 1788 and were never seen again. Thirty-eight years later the scattered remains of La Boussole and L’Astrolabewere discovered wrecked on a vicious reef on an atoll in the New Hebrides. (Ref: Tooley; M&B)

General Description:
Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stable
Paper color: - off white
Age of map color: -  
Colors used: - 
General color appearance: - 
Paper size: - 20 1/2in x 16 1/2in (520mm x 420mm)
Plate size: - 20 1/2in x 16 1/2in (520mm x 420mm)
Margins: - Min 1/2in (10mm)

Imperfections:
Margins: - Small repairs to margins, no loss
Plate area: - Age toning, light soiling
Verso: - Top and bottom centerfold re-joined

$275.00 USD
More Info
1797 La Perouse Antique Map of Neckar Island, Hawaii

1797 La Perouse Antique Map of Neckar Island, Hawaii

Description: 
This large very handsome original antique of the Necker Island in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands by Jean-François de Galaup, Comte de la Pérouse - was published in the 1st edition of the Atlas du voyage de La Perouse, Paris 1797.

Necker Island (Hawaiian: Mokumanamana) is a small island in the Pacific Ocean. It is part of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, located 155 miles (135 nmi; 249 km) northwest of Nihoa and 430 miles (370 nmi; 690 km) northwest of Honolulu, and is part of the Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge within the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands National Monument.

Few signs of long-term human habitation have been found. However, the island contains 33 stone shrines and stone artifacts much like those found in the main Hawaiian Islands. Because of this, many anthropologists believe that the island was a ceremonial and religious site. According to the myths and legends of the people of Kauai, which lies to the southeast, Necker Island was the last known refuge for a race of mythical "little people" called the Menehune. According to the legend, the Menehune settled on Necker after being chased off Kaua'i by the stronger Polynesians and subsequently built the various stone structures there. Visits to the island are said to have started a few hundred years after the main Hawaiian Islands were inhabited, and ended a few hundred years before European contact. French explorer Jean-François de La Pérouse was the first European to visit the island, in 1786. The island is named after Jacques Necker. (Ref: Tooley; M&B)

General Description:
Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stable
Paper color: - off white
Age of map color: -  
Colors used: - 
General color appearance: - 
Paper size: - 31in x 23in (780mm x 585mm)
Plate size: - 31in x 23in (780mm x 585mm)
Margins: - Min 2in (50mm)

Imperfections:
Margins: - None
Plate area: - None
Verso: - None

$399.00 USD
More Info
1797 La Perouse Antique Print View De Kastri Bay, Ulchsky Khabarovsk Kai, Russia

1797 La Perouse Antique Print View De Kastri Bay, Ulchsky Khabarovsk Kai, Russia

Description: 
This large original antique copper plate engraved print a view of the very early settlement at De Kastri Bay, in the Ulchsky District of Khabarovsk Kai, Eastern Russia opposite the Sakhalin Islands, by Jean-François de Galaup, Comte de la Pérouse was published in the 1st edition of the Atlas du voyage de La Perouse, Paris 1797.

De-Kastri was named for the former name of the bay on which it stands. The bay was discovered by La Pérouse on July 25, 1787 and named after the sponsor of the expedition—the then Secretary of State of the French Navy, the Marquis de Castries. The bay is a convenient natural refuge for vessels, giving it strategic importance from a military viewpoint.
The settlement was officially  founded in 1853, although the land where it was situated would not officially be Russian territory until the signing of the Treaty of Aigun five years later.
In 1854, the difficult task of defending Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky when it came under siege from the British and French forces during the Crimean War brought to attention the difficulties of supply and defense of the Kamchatka Peninsula, where a large section of the Russian Pacific Fleet was based. It was decided to move the port from Kamchatka without waiting for another attack. In the spring of 1855, the Russian navy's weapons and sailors under the leadership of Rear Admiral Vasily Zavoyko headed toward the mouth of the Amur River; however, the river mouth was still covered with ice. It was decided to wait for the break-up, hiding in the Bay of de Castries from the superior forces of French and English. Russian ships were discovered there, but managed to escape to the Amur River in the Strait of Tartary before the arrival of enemy reinforcements. The British and French did not know that Sakhalin was an island, and spent the later years of the war waiting in vain for the Russian fleet at its southern coast.

La Perouse set sail from France in 1785 to continue the discoveries of Captain Cook. He was shipwrecked in 1788 but his narrative, maps, and views survived and were published in 1797. (Ref: Tooley; M&B)

General Description:
Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stable
Paper color: - off white
Age of map color: -  
Colors used: - 
General color appearance: - 
Paper size: - 17in x 11in (435mm x 280mm)
Plate size: - 17in x 11in (435mm x 280mm)
Margins: - Min 1/2in (10mm)

Imperfections:
Margins: - Small repairs to margins, no loss
Plate area: - None
Verso: - None

$175.00 USD
More Info
1798 La Perouse Antique Print of Sea Urchins of the America NW Coast

1798 La Perouse Antique Print of Sea Urchins of the America NW Coast

  • Title : Echini Marini, or Sea Urchins, of the North West Coast of America. Published as the (act) directs Novr. 1st 1798, by G.G. & J. Robinson
  • Date : 1798
  • Condition: (A+) Fine Condition
  • Ref:  31738
  • Size: 16 1/2in x 10 1/2in (420mm x 265mm) 

Description: 
This large and fine original antique print of Sea Urchins found off the NW coast of America by Jean-François de Galaup, Comte de la Pérouse during his ill fated voyage of discovery - was engraved in 1798 - dated - and published in the 1799 English edition of the Atlas du voyage de La Perouse (Charts And Plates To La Perouse's Voyage, Published as the Act directs Nov. 1st 1798, by G.G. & J. Robinson, Pater-noster Row)

Jean-François de Galaup, Comte La Perouse set sail from France in 1785 to continue the discoveries of Captain Cook. He was shipwrecked in 1788 but his narrative, maps, and views survived and were published in 1797.

This print was first published posthumously as part of the Voyages of La Pérouse who set sail from France in 1785 to continue the discoveries of Captain Cook. He was shipwrecked in 1788 but his narrative, maps, and views survived and were published in 1797.(Ref: Tooley; M&B)

General Description:
Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stable
Paper color: - off white
Age of map color: -
Colors used: -
General color appearance: -
Paper size: - 16 1/2in x 10 1/2in (420mm x 265mm)
Plate size: - 16 1/2in x 10 1/2in (420mm x 265mm)
Margins: - Min 1in (25mm)

Imperfections:
Margins: - None
Plate area: - None
Verso: - None

$100.00 USD
More Info
1798 La Perouse Large Antique Concology Print of Shells & Molluscs Pacific Ocean

1798 La Perouse Large Antique Concology Print of Shells & Molluscs Pacific Ocean

  • Title : Terebratulae, or Anomle of Linnaeus; Cornu Ammonis from the Pacific Ocean between the Tropics
  • Date : 1798
  • Condition: (A+) Fine Condition
  • Ref:  31729
  • Size: 18in x 11 1/2in (460mm x 295mm)

Description: 
This finely engraved large hand coloured original antique print of shells & molluscs of the South Pacific was engraved in 1798 - the date is engraved at the foot of the print - and was published in the 1st English edition of Charts And Plates To La Perouse's Voyage by Comte de La Pérouse, published by G.G & J. Robinson, London in 1799. (Ref: Tooley; M&B)

General Description:
Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stable
Paper color: - off white
Age of map color: -  Early
Colors used: - Green, yellow 
General color appearance: - Authentic 
Paper size: - 18in x 11 1/2in (460mm x 295mm)
Plate size: - 17in x 10 1/2in (430mm x 270mm)
Margins: - Min 1/2in (12mm)

Imperfections:
Margins: - None
Plate area: - None
Verso: - None

$125.00 USD
More Info