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Robert de Vaugondy: Carte des Parties Nord et Ouest de l'Amerique

Map: USA9146
Cartographer: Robert de Vaugondy
Title: Carte des Parties Nord et Ouest de l'Amerique
Date: 1772
Published: Paris
Width: 15 inches / 39 cm
Height: 12 inches / 31 cm
Map ref: USA9146
Fascinating map of the United States focusing on the Pacific coast, published by Vaugondy in an attempt to finally dispel the myth of a North West Passage.

Though the western portion of the continent remains oversized and lacking in detail, this map was a huge improvement on most other French maps when it was first published in 1764. Vaugondy's contemporaries, in particular Philippe Buache, were fervent supporters of a large 'Sea of the West' which it was thought would connect through to a North West Passage.

Vaugondy, a skeptic of the North West Passage claim produced his own serious of maps, of which this is one, in an attempt to refute Buache's claims. This led to a decades-long debate between Vaugondy and Buache in the Paris Académie des Sciences. Though Buache's theories were generally more favoured at the time, the voyages of Cook, Vancouver, and Hearne in the 1770s-90s would ultimately prove Vaugondy right.

This map was reduced by Vaugondy from his original 1764 map for publication in a special supplement to Denis Diderot's Encyclopédie describing the great debate between himself and Buache.