Expanding Westward (part 3)

Duflot de Mofras, M. Exploration du territoire de l'Orégon, des Californies et de la mer Vermeille, exécutée pendant les années 1840, 1841 et 1842. Paris: Arthus Bertrand, 1844.

Duflot de Mofras was an attaché to the French Embassy in Mexico City charged with exploring the northwest provinces of Mexico. From 1840 to 1842, he journeyed north along the Pacific coast all the way to the Bering Straits and back.

After he returned to France, he published this account of his expedition. Exploration is considered one of the rarest and most important works on California and the Northwest coast. It contains detailed descriptions, maps, and views of numerous places along the Pacific, including plans of ports such as San Diego, San Francisco, and the mouth of the Columbia River. "Vue de la Mission de Saint Louis Roi de France," on display, shows the largest mission in California. Spanish Franciscans founded the mission of San Luis Rey in 1798. The mission's central quadrangle, depicted in the illustration, covered an area of roughly six acres. Exploration also includes a detailed plan of the interior of the mission complex. San Luis Rey is located in present-day North San Diego County.



Le Jeune, Paul. Relation de ce qui s'est passé en la Nouvelle France en l'annee 1637 / enuoyée au R. Pere Prouincial de la Compagnie de Iesus en la Prouince de France. Rouen: Chez Iean le Boullenger ..., 1638.

From 1632 to 1672, Jesuit missionaries in New France sent annual reports on the progress of their missions to the head of the order in France. A total of forty-one reports were issued. These reports – better known as the Jesuit Relations – are vital sources for the discovery, settlement, and early history of New France. They contain vivid accounts of the life and manners of the Native Americans of the area. The reports were eagerly read by the French and in some cases were reprinted to satisfy popular demand. The report displayed here is the Sixth Relation.

With the addition of three Relations from the Mellon bequest to the thirty-three already in the Tracy W. McGregor Library, the University of Virginia Library has one of the most complete collections of the Jesuit Relations.



Macarty, Charles Latouche de. Plans et position a l'estime des forts Anglois, batis sur une des branche de la riviere Cherakis. Manuscript. 1758.

In 1755, a Cherokee delegation asked the colonial government of Virginia to erect a fort in their country to be garrisoned by colonial troops. The Cherokee sought defense from French attacks that had escalated since the destruction of General Braddock's army the previous year.

In 1756, the Virginia government built a fort near the Cherokee town of Chota on the Little Tennessee River but made no provision for garrisoning it. Virginia governor Dinwiddie presumed this would be handled by the neighboring colony of South Carolina. South Carolina, however, had made plans for a fort of its own (Fort Loudon), and thus, through the rivalry and bungling of the two colonies, two forts were erected in the Tennessee Valley wilderness. The "Virginia fort" was never named or garrisoned and was soon destroyed by the Cherokee to prevent it from falling into French hands. Fort Loudon was destroyed in 1760 after a clash between the British and the Cherokee.

This is the only known plan of the Virginia fort and was most likely drawn at Fort Massaic, Illinois, in 1758 by Charles Latouche de Macarty, an Irish-born French naval officer stationed there, from information supplied by deserters in the French and Indian War. The map depicts both the unnamed "Virginia fort" near the Cherokee town of Chota, and Fort Loudon, erected by the colony of South Carolina about four miles away.


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