Remarkable map of part of the coast of Northern California, one of the few obtainable maps documenting the Russian possession of the region north of San Francisco Bay.
The map extends from Bodega Point in the south to Fort Ross in the North. The most interesting feature of the map is that the placenames virtually are Russian, one of the few obtainable maps to document this fascinating period in the history of California. The map is extremely rare on the market. This is the first separately issued example we have ever seen.
In 1839, Eugene Duflot de Mofras, was assigned to the embassy in Mexico City and instructed to visit the northwestern provinces of Mexico, report on potential commerce, observe U. S., British and Russian interests, and determine feasibility of French posts in the region. De Mofras visited Jalisco, Colima, Sinaloa, and Sonora, in 1840, then sailed from Mazatlán to Monterey. He met with commandant Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo in Sonoma, continued to Fort Ross, and returned to Monterey in July. On September 1, he sailed up the Sacramento River with A.G. Rotchev, manager of Fort Ross, to New Helvetia, where he met with John Sutter, with whom Rotchev was to initiate negotiations for sale of the Russian fort. He later visited San Jose, Santa Cruz, and San Francisco, before travelling to the Hudson Bay Company's Fort Vancouver. On this trip, de Mofras met and talked with Charles Wilkes. He returned to San Francisco with Hudson Bay Company director Sir George Simpson and factor John McLoughlin and U.S. agent Horatio Hale, to Monterey. On January 3 1842, de Mofras sailed via Santa Bárbara to San Diego, before returning to Mexico.
Duflot de Mofras provided important information on its economic life, foreign involvement, and geography. He provides excellent descriptions of the Russian posts at Ross and Bodega just prior to their sale to the United States, notes Sutter's willingness to serve France, and reports on the reputed plot of Isaac Graham to overthrow Mexican government in California.