CHARLES PIERRE CLARET, COMTE DE FLEURIEU (1738-1810)
Voyage Autour du Monde, pendant les années 1790, 1791, et 1792, Par Étienne Marchand, précédé d'une introduction historique; auquel on a joint des recherches sur les terres australes de Drake, et un examen critique du voyage de Roggeveen. Paris: Imprimerie de la République, An VI-VIII [i.e. 1798-1800]. 4 volumes, 4° (317 x 240mm). 15 folding maps, one engraved plate. (One map torn at fold.) Contemporary French half calf over marbled boards, flat spines gilt in compartments, gilt calf lettering-pieces in 2, others decorated with star and other tools (a little rubbed, 2 spines chipped at head).
LARGE PAPER COPY ON PAPIER VÉLIN of the second French circumnavigation, the first French commercial expedition to the Pacific Northwest, and an especially important work for the history of discovery in the Northwest. Marchand had met Capts. Portlock and Dixon in St. Helena at the outset of his voyage and learned of the lucrative fur trade from the American northwest to China. From a Marseilles trading company he procured finance for the voyage of the Solide which resulted in important discoveries and chartings of the Pacific and Pacific Northwest, of Hawaii, the Marquesas, the Queen Charlotte Islands, and Alaska. On reaching Macao, however, his furs failed to sell and on his return to France they were confiscated by the Revolutionary government. Fleurieu's long introduction contains the earliest and most comprehensive researches on early navigators to the North Pacific, 1537-1791, including Drake, Juan de Fuca, Bering, Chirikov, Cook, La Pérouse, Meares, Portlock and Dixon, Colnett, and Malaspina. Volumes II and III are nautical observations and the natural history of the regions explored as well as a critical study of Roggeveen's voyage of 1721-22. Volume IV contains the maps, with earlier charts and recent surveys, the hydrography of the region, and the Board of Longitude's examination of Marchand's use of the decimal system in navigation and his own designed marine chronometer constructed for him by Berthoud. Fleurieu was a notable scholar and author on the history of French voyages of discovery and an experienced Pacific explorer who completed the publication of the work after Marchand's death in 1793, much of it from the log of Captain Chanal. Hill 610; Brunet III, 1399; Lada-Mocarski 54. (4)