Fine example of this extremely rare harbor chart of San Francisco, which accompanied Abel Aubert DuPetit-Thouars monumental work on California.
DuPetit-Thouars' 11 volume Voyage Autour du Monde sur la Frégate la Vénus pendant les années 1836-1839, publié par ordre du Roi, sous les auspices du Ministre de la Marine, par M. Abel du Petit-Thouars, Capitaine de vaisseau, Commandeur de la Légion d'honneur . . . published in Paris (1840-1844, 1855 and 1864), provides a remarkable and comprehensive look at California. Bancroft, who never saw a copy of the Atlas, described the work as the most important of all books relating to the history of California during the Mexican period, 1824-1846.
During the 1830s, the French interest in scientific exploration and commercial reconnaissance of the newly independent nations in the Americas was at its peak. Dupetit-Thouars visited Valparaiso, Callao, and Honolulu, and reached Kamchatka in August 1837. He then recrossed the north Pacific to the California coast, visiting Monterey, San Blas, and Acapulco, and finally the Galapagos in January, 1838. After spending 6 months in the Galapagos, the entourage left for the South Pacific, before returning to France in June 1839.
As the successor to Auguste Bernard Duhaut-Cilly (1826-1829) and predecessor of Eugene Duflot de Mofras (1839-1842), Dupetit-Thouar's presence in Mexican territory was directly related to French interest obtaining sovereign or exclusive commercial rights over Upper California, in exchange for the massive Mexican national debt to French financiers.