Detailed map of Bolivia and a portion of Brazil, illustrating the route of Francis de Laporte de Castelnau's travels in South America between 1844 and 1846.
The route of the map across the Castelnau's expedition across the continent is illustratred in red.
François Louis Nompar de Caumont La Force, comte de Castelnau, was born in London and studied natural history in Paris. From 1837 to 1841 he led a scientific expedition to Canada, where he studied the fauna of the Canadian lakes and the political systems of Upper and Lower Canada (roughly corresponding to the modern provinces of Ontario and Quebec) and of the United States.
Between 1843 to 1847, on behalf of the French Government, Castelnau, two botanists and a taxidermist embarked on an expedition to cross South America from Rio de Janeiro to Lima, following the watershed between the Amazon and La Plata river systems, and thence to Pará, collecting specimens.
August Heinrich Petermann (1822-1878) is a renowned German cartographer of the nineteenth century. Petermann studied cartography at the Geographical Art-School in Potsdam before traveling to Edinburgh to work with Dr. A. Keith Johnston on an English edition of Berghaus’ Physical Atlas. Two years later he moved to London, where he made maps and advised exploratory expeditions as they set off to explore the interior of Africa and the Arctic.
In 1854, Petermann returned to Germany to be Director of the Geographical Institute of Justus Perthes in Gotha. There, he was the editor of the Geographische Mittheilungen and Stieler’s Handatlas. The Royal Geographical Society of London awarded him their Gold Medal in 1860. He continued his interest in exploration in Germany, fundraising for the German Exploring Expeditions of 1868 and 1869-70, which sought an open Arctic sea. Tragically, he committed suicide in 1878.