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Description

The First Map of Santa Barbara and Vicinity

The earliest obtainable map of Santa Barbara, pre-dating Santa Barbara's first survey in 1851.

A fascinating look at the harbor of Santa Barbara during the late Spanish-Mexican Period. Shows the ruins of the old Presidio, gun and magazine placements, the roads in and out of town (Pueblo), and the Mission and Gardens. Soundings shown in the harbor.

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, 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 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.

Reference
Wheat 474; Streeter 3323; Sabin 2114; Graff 1169; Barrett, Baja California 734; California 49: Forty-Nine Maps of California from the Sixteenth Century to the Present (Carol Urness) 20n.
Eugene Duflot De Mofras Biography

Eugene Duflot de Mofras was a traveler, naturalist, diplomat, and spy. In 1839, du Mofras was appointed attaché to the French delegation to the Mexican government. While there, he was tasked with visiting the northern areas of Mexico; he was sent both as an official visitor but also as a veritable spy, gathering intelligence as to likely places to establish French trading posts. In 1844 he published an account of his travels, complete with an influential map of western North America.