Depot de la Marine

Scarce early French sea chart of San Francisco Bay

Croquis Des Atterrages De La Baie De San-Francisco (Haute Californie) leve et dresse en 1837 a bord de la fregate la Venus sous les ordres de Mr. Du Petit Thouars, capitaine de vaisseu par Mr. de Tessan . . . Au Depot-general de la Marine en 1843

DESCRIPTION: Scarce French sea chart of San Francisco Bay made during a voyage to the Pacific from 1836-39 by Captain Abel Aubert Du Petit-Thouars in command of the French Frigate Venus. The bay is well delineated with soundings and profile views. Shows the route taken in October 1837 by the Hawaiian ship "Kamamalou" (Captain William Sturgis Hinckley) as it ferried a crew from Petit-Thoaurs' Venus, who remained aboard the Venus in Monterrey Bay, to gather water and vegetables. The crew used that trip to reconnoiter the port of San Francisco.

With several small and one large elevation profile view of the entrance to San Francisco Bay as seen from sea. The largest elevation view, at bottom, shows the coastline as seen from 25 miles offshore. That beautifully engraved profile extends from the Farralon Islands to well past "Cap Blanc" (Point San Pedro). The key feature of Alcatraz Island is labeled "I. aux Oiseaux" (Bird Island).

A circled "+" between Alcatraz Island and Yerba Buena Island labeled "Basse du Seringapatnam" suggests that this is the site of a wreck of a vessel by that name. Going through the records we find a 398 ton whaling ship "Seragapatam" that sailed from Sydney and arrived in San Francisco on March 18, 1850.

The motivation behind Petit-Thouars' exploration was France's interest in obtaining territory from the Mexican government in exchange for the millions of dollars worth of loans that the French government had given to Mexico, and which the Mexican government had defaulted on. France sent Captain Du Petit-Thouars to survey the region and see what it offered, as well as to project a French presence to bolster any claims they had in the Pacific.

Circular logo with an anchor from the Depot de la Marine. Plate 6. Number. 1002.

CREATOR: Depot de la Marine



BODY OF WATER: San Francisco Bay

CONDITION: Very good.  On heavy, clean chain laid paper with ample margins. A fine example with no condition issues.

COLORING: Careful and detailed hand coloring.


SIZE: 23 " x 17 "


PRICE: $1450


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