Interesting map of the NW Coast of America and the NE Coast of Asia, based upon Jefferys map of 1768. Prior to Cook's 1st Voyage, the English, French and Russians were actively debating the cartography of the region in the North Pacific between Asia and North America. The Russian explorations of the first half of the 18th Century, including those by Behring, Tchirikow and others, had been reported by JN De L'Isle, who had worked with the Russians and was privy to their latest discoveries. The mythical voyages of De Fuca, d'Aguilar and De Font were still very much in evidence in contemporary cartography, as were concepts of a NW Passage, the Sea of the West, River of the West and other vestiges of 16th and 17th Century conjectural/mythical cartography. Following the publication by Buache of his maps on the region, the debate between the French and English was quite fertile, so much so that Diderot dedicated most of his 10 map supplment to the region. This map shows the Jefferys model, including a wide De Fuca based River from Puget Sound to the Atlantic over Hudson's Bay, several significant rivers flowing from the Pacific to the middle of North America, and Jesuit based water passages from the Pacific to the Arctic Seas. A massive approximation of Alaskan Archipelago is shown, along with the Russian discoveries.
Gilles Robert de Vaugondy (1688-1766) was the head of a leading family of geographers in eighteenth century France. Gilles got his start when he jointly inherited the shop of Pierre-Moullart Sanson, grandson of the famous geographer Nicholas Sanson. The inheritance included the business, its stock of plates, and a roller press. In 1760 Gilles became geographer to King Louis XV. His son, Didier Robert de Vaugondy (ca. 1723-1786), was also a geographer and the two worked together. They were known for their exactitude and depth of research. In 1757, they produced the Atlas Universel, considered an authority for many years.