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The Earliest Obtainable Map of San Francisco Bay

Highly desirable map of San Francisco from the La Perouse's Voyages, the first obtainable map of San Francisco Bay.

During his round the world voyage, La Perouse coasted southward along the California coast in 1786, passing San Francisco on September 10, and arriving in Monterrey on September 13, where he remained for 9 days, before setting out for the Philippines.

While La Perouse's chart of Monterrey is from original sources, the map of San Francisco is based upon a chart secured by La Perouse from the pilot Mourelle, in Manila, or was obtained by the editors of La Perouse's Voyages from European sources. The information in the map is drawn from Jose de Cañizares chart of 1776 and Camacho's charts of 1779 and 1785.

The map includes 21 place names, including Alcatraz, the Presidio, Merced, the Mission of San Francisco, and other current landmarks.

A fundamental map for San Francisco collectors, the earliest obtainable map of San Francisco.

Jose de Cañizares -- 1776 Plano del Puerto de San Francisco

The Cañizares Plano del Puerto de San Francisco is an early detailed map of the San Francisco Bay based on the information acquired by Jose de Cañizares during his exploration of the Bay in 1775 and 1776.

Because of the competing interest of England and Russia with Spain for domination of the Pacific Coast, Viceroy Burcareli of New Spain ordered that a fort be established at the Port of San Francisco. Juan Manuel de Ayala, who was in command and master of the ship, San Carlos, had orders to survey the port of San Francisco in conjunction with the land expedition from Sonora under Captain Juan Bautista de Anza who was bringing colonists and supplies for the new outpost. Ayala brought his ship through the Golden Gate on August 4, 1755. Jose de Cañizares, the first sailing master on the San Carlos, drew an initial chart based upon their 1775 exploration of the Bay. Returning in 1776 as Captain of the San Carolos, Cañzares drew a second chart using a sounding line and compass blended with his personal observations. The chart also shows the proposed location of the new presidio and mission.

The chart is a significant improvement over the earlier Crepi chart of San Francisco.  The original chart resides in the Archivo Cartografico y de Estudios Geograficos, Madrid, Spain.

Harlow 15; Wagner 846