A VOYAGE TO CALIFORNIA, TO OBSERVE THE TRANSIT OF VENUS...ALSO, A VOYAGE TO NEWFOUNDLAND AND SALLEE, TO MAKE EXPERIMENTS ON MR. LE ROY'S TIMEKEEPERS....

London. 1778. [8],215pp. (final page misnumbered 315) plus folding frontispiece plan of Mexico City. Half title. 20th-century three-quarter calf and marbled boards, spine gilt, leather label. Minor scuffing to corners. Bookplate on front pastedown belonging to Frank S. Streeter, light occasional foxing, minor corner separations to map, with one tape repair on verso. Very good. Item #WRCAM39442A

The Frank S. Streeter copy of the first English edition, translated from the French of 1772, and adding the account of the Newfoundland voyage. Considerable interest was taken in observing the 1769 transit of Venus, an important event for determining absolute measurements of, among other things, the distance from the earth to the sun. Thomas W. Streeter calls this "a thrilling account of a race against time to reach lower California before the transit of Venus occurred." The party crossed Mexico en route, as the folding plan of Mexico City testifies. "One of the earliest scientific journeys sent to the [Baja] peninsula" - Barrett. Two days after the observation of the transit of Venus, Chappe D'Auteroche and other members of the party contracted yellow fever (the "black vomit") and died. The Canadian section is also fairly extensive, pages 109-160 discussing the cod fishery and methods of catching and preparing the economically important fish. This copy previously sold as lot 104 at Christie's as part of the Frank S. Streeter collection, Apr. 16, 2007. HILL 279. COWAN, p.46. HOWES C299, "aa." SABIN 12004. BARRETT 509. WAGNER, SPANISH SOUTHWEST 158a. PALAU 67059 (French ed). STREETER 2443 (French ed).

Price: $2,000.00

Voyage to California in 1769