Nice example of the first English edition of La Perouse's chart of the Northwest Coast of America from Cook's River to San Diego.
La Perouse left Brest in 1785 with two vessels to explore the Northwest Coast of America. He arrived there the following summer and explored extensively along the Alaska coast, then sailed south to California. The expedition's goals were to explore the potential for fur trading ventures, pursue the geographical exploration of both America and Siberia, investigate the possibility of a Northwest passage, and establish some French claim between the claims of Russia and Spain along on the American coast. After his stop in California, La Pérouse visited China, some Pacific islands, and the Siberian coast. He sent back copies of his journals both overland across Russia and via British ships met at Botany Bay in the spring of 1788. After he left Australia, his party was never seen again, and it was not until the 1820s that the wrecks of his ships were discovered on a reef in the Santa Cruz group. When it became clear that something had happened to the expedition, a decision was made to publish the journals he had transmitted home.
The La Perouse voyage provided a superb mapping of the Alaska and California coasts, including maps of San Diego, Monterey, and the whole Northwest Coast. The atlas also contains numerous interesting views on the coast, in California and the Pacific, as well as botanical and natural history plates. The text contains a wealth of scientific and ethnographic information. "It is one of the finest narratives of maritime exploration ever written, and certainly deserves to hold a place of high honor among the great travel accounts of the eighteenth century" - Howell.