The Malaspina Expedition 1789-1794 The Journal of the Voyage by Alejandro Malaspina

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Author: Malaspina, Alessandro (1754-1810)

Year: 2001-2004

Publisher: Hakluyt Society

Place: London


3 volumes. Volume I: Cadiz to Panama xcviii+338 pages with color frontispiece, 39 color and monochrome plates, 9 maps and appendices. Volume II: Panama to the Philippines xx+511 pages with color frontispiece, 44 color and monochrome plates, 7 maps and appendices. Volume III: Manila to Cadiz xxi+487 pages with color frontispiece, 4 color half-tones, 13 sepia half-tones, 41 black and white half-tones, 6 maps, appendices, bibliography and index. Small quarto (10" x 7 1/4") bound in original publisher's blue cloth with gilt lettering to spine and pictorial representation of the ship Victoria embossed in gilt on front cover in original jacket. Edited by Andrew David, Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, Carlos Novi and Glyndwr Williams. Translated by Sylvia Jamieson. Series III, volume 8, 11 and 13. First editions.

In September 1788 Alessandro Malaspina and Jos� de Bustamante y Guerra approached the Spanish government. The explorers proposed a scientific-political expedition that would visit nearly all the Spanish possessions in America and Asia. The Spanish king, Charles III, a promoter of science in the Spanish Empire, approved. Two frigates (a type of ship similar to the British sloop-of-war), were built under Malaspina's direction specifically for the expedition, Descubierta and Atrevida (meaning "Discovery" and "Daring" or "Bold"). Malaspina commanded Descubierta and Bustamante Atrevida. The names were chosen by Malaspina to honor James Cook's Discovery and Resolution. The two corvettes were constructed by the shipbuilder T�mas Mu�oz at the La Carraca shipyard. They were both 306 tons burden and 36 metres long, with a normal load displacement of 4.2 meters. They were launched together on April 8, 1789. The expedition was under the "dual command" of Malaspina and Bustamante. Although in time the expedition became known as the Malaspina's, Bustamante was never considered subordinate. Malaspina insisted on their equality, yet Bustamante early acknowledged Malaspina as the "chief of the expedition" The expedition sailed from C�diz on July 30, 1789. The expedition had explicitly scientific goals, similar to the recent voyages of James Cook and Jean-Fran�ois de Galaup, comte de La P�rouse. Malaspina stopped at Montevideo and Buenos Aires. By the time Malaspina reached Mexico it was 1791, and there he received a dispatch from the king of Spain, ordering Malaspina to search for a Northwest Passage. Knowing that Cook had previously surveyed the coast west of Prince William Sound and found no passage, Malaspina ceased his search at that point and sailed to the Spanish outpost at Nootka Sound on Vancouver Island. After departing Nootka Sound the two ships sailed south, stopping at the Spanish settlement and mission at Monterey, California, before returning to Mexico in 1792.In 1792, Malaspina's expedition sailed from Mexico across the Pacific Ocean. They stopped briefly at Guam before arriving at the Philippines, where they spent several months, mostly at Manila. During the five years of this expedition Malaspina fixed the measurements of America's western coast with a precision never before achieved. He measured the height of Mount Saint Elias in Alaska and explored gigantic glaciers, including Malaspina Glacier, later named after him. He demonstrated the feasibility of a possible Panama Canal and outlined plans for its construction.


A fine set in like jackets.

SOLD 2020

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