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A truly fascinating 1772 map of the northwestern parts of North America by Robert de Vaugondy and Thomas Jefferys. Essentially depicts the north eastern parts of Asia, speculations on northwestern America, and Admiral De Fonte's mythical conception of a Northwest Passage. Heavily based upon earlier work by Thomas Jefferys, Thomas Swaine Drage, Gerhard Muller, and James De Lisle. Vaugondy prepared this map prior to the voyages of James Cook to this region. Around this time Europe was rampant with speculation both regarding the existence of a Northwest Passage and the northwestern parts of America in general. The discoveries of Admiral de Fonte and Juan de Fuca though now known to be entirely mythical, inspired the European imagination. Barthlomew de Fonte was supposedly a Spanish Admiral who, sailing up the Pacific coast c. 1640 discovered a series of gigantic lakes, seas, and rivers heading eastward towards the Hudson Bay. Supposedly, upon one of these great inland lakes, he met with a ship from Boston that claimed to have come through a Northwestern Passage. De Fonte's story appeared in a short lived 1706 English publication entitled "Memoirs of the Curious". Nearer to Russia the Aleutian Islands have been consolidated into a large peninsular landmass extending eastward towards Asia. In the extreme north, between 80 and 60 degrees of latitude is an archipelago, presumably discovered by Japanese sailors marooned in Kamtschatka, and purportedly inhabited entirely by pigmies. An altogether fascinating map of the Northwest Passage and the American west and a must for any serious collection dedicated to this region. Prepared by Vaugondy as plate no. 8 for the Supplement to Diderot's Encyclopédie .
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