Following on from the success of Captain James Cook for Britain the French government decided to send Jean Francois de La Perouse on a voyage to explore the possibility of a north-west passage. The two corvettes called ‘La Boussole’ and ‘L’Astrolabe’ left Brest in August 1785. During the voyage La Perouse visited Chile, the Hawaiian Islands, Alaska, California, Macao, Manilla, the seas of China and Japan, Tonga and Australia. His last letter to the Minister in Paris was written from Botany Bay in Australia on 7 February 1788. The entire La Perouse expedition disappeared after leaving Sydney. The records had fortunately been sent ahead. Antoine de Bruni, chevalier d’Entrecasteaux was send out to locate the expedition in 1791-93 without success. It was the English captain Peter Dillon in 1826 who located the remains in Vanikoro, in the Santa Cuz Islands. Although some of the shipwrecked material he brought back to Europe was confirmed as being from the vessels it was not until 1964 that the exact fate of them became clear. Both vessels it appeared had shipwrecked, much of the crew were massacred by the natives, those remaining had constructed a vessel and left the islands after nine months never to be seen again. A fine large scale chart of the west coast of North America from Mount St. Elias in present day Alaska to Monterey Bay as explored by La Perouse between June and September 1786. The track of the ships and the appropriate dates are shown. Notably lacking from this coast are the recognisable features of Vancouver Island and Puget Sound, neither discovered until Vancouver explored the region six years later. Ferguson 268; refer Howes, W. L 93; Phillips, P.L. (Atlases) 688-12; Sabin 38960.