Paris: Arthus Bertrand, 1844. First edition. Hardcover. Quarto. XII, , 249, -524pp. Uncut. Original printed paper covered boards. Engraved frontispiece. First volume bound in two of " one of the most important works on the northwestern coast, including Alaska" (Lada-Mocarski). Duflot de Mofras was sent to Mexico in 1839 as French Ambassador, "but his special mission was to explore and evaluate the commercial possibilities of California and the Oregon Territory, in order that the French government would be better able to decide whether to become involved in the conflict over Oregon between the U.S. and Great Britain" (Hill). This extensive and detailed account of his journey includes the western coast of America from Tehuantepec to the Bering Strait, Vancouver Island, and the Fraser River. This first volume is complete with its four engraved plates depicting a view of Monterey, California missionary Father Duran, and Californian throwing the lasso (taken from Smyth’s oft-repeated rendering as found in Beechey, Forbes, Dwinelle, and elsewhere). Some age wear on binding with spines sunned and edges rubbed. Moderate foxing on very first and very last pages of each volume. Very minor and sporadic foxing throughout. Text in French. Bindings in overall fair, interior in good+ condition. g. Item #35251
Eugène Duflot de Mofras (1810-1884) was a nineteenth-century French naturalist, botanist, diplomat and explorer. In 1839 Duflot de Mofras was dispatched from his post in Mexico City and spent the next four years exploring the western coast of North America, specifically what is now California and Oregon. He was to access the region for French business interests. His account, published in this work, recorded the commercial, political and military significance of the region. A great majority of the description is given to life surrounding the California missions, including the missions at Monterey and Santa Cruz (from Wikipedia).