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  AMERICA 
 Eastern Seaboard 

DES BARRES, Joseph Frederick Wallet. [Des Barres's chart of Plymouth Bay, Massachusetts]
[Untitled chart of Plymouth Bay.] London: Des Barres, c.1777. Coloured. 660 x 490mm, paper watermarked 'J. Bates'. Minor split to centerfold which has been restored.
A chart of Plymouth Bay from the 'Atlantic Neptune', the first British sea atlas of the North American colonies and the first systematic survey of the east coast of North America. It shows in detail the environs of Plymouth, famous as the foundation colony of New England. Des Barres (1721-1824), a Swiss Huguenot, studied at Basle University before enrolling in the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich, where his studies iincluded surveying. On the outbreak of the Seven Years War iin 1756 he was commissioned into the 62nd Foot (Royal American) Regiment and was sent to Canada and participated in the capture of Louisbourg. He was then put to work surveying the St Lawrence River in preparation for Wolfe's attack on Quebec, then planning the defences of Halifax and other harbours, with a young James Cook as his assistant. With the end of the war in 1763 Colonel Des Barres spent the next decade charting the rest of Atlantic Canada. He returned to England in 1774 and was directed by the British Admiralty to create the 'Atlantic Neptune', a four-volume atlas to include his both work and that of other cartographers in the British colonies in America. On the completion of the atlas Des Barres returned to Canada, later becoming Lieut-Governor of Cape Breton Island. He died a month short of his 103rd birthday.
[Ref: 15122]    £4,750.00 ($6,365 • €5,420 rates)


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