Naufrage des deux chaloupes, au Port des Francais.
[Paris: L'Imprimerie de la Republique, An V, 1797.]
Engraving. 390 x 560mm, 15˝ x 22". Crease through middle of image.
Some of La Perouse's crew in trouble in the icy waters of Lituya Bay, Alaska (now part of the Glacier Bay Park & Wilderness), after the capsizing of two cutters, resulting in twenty-one deaths. In normal circumstances the waters are incredibly dangerous, with the spill of three glaciers entering the bay and a tidal difference of 10 feet; but in 1958 a megatsunami was recorded in the bay that destroyed trees to a height of 1,720 feet above sea-level, signifying a wave higher than the Empire State Building. In 1785 Jean-Francois de Galaup, comte de La Pérouse (1741-88) was sent by the French to continue Cook's exploration work in the Pacific, in the ships 'Astrolabe' & 'Boussole'. After three years, during which time he visited Chile, California, Alaska, Kamchatka, the Philippines, Japan and Hawaii, he travelled to Australia. Outside Botany Bay he met up with Captain Arthur Phillip's First Fleet, after which he set sail and was never seen again, despite an extensive rescue mission. Fortunately La Pérouse took every oportunity to send his work back to France: one crew member disembarked here at Petropavlovsk and spent a year crossing Russia back to France; later journals, charts and letters he left with the British at Botany Bay. Thus his discoveries were not lost with him, but published posthumously in this work, 'Voyage de la Perouse autour du monde..'.
[Ref: 18692] £520.00