Lot 30 of 221:
Dobbs' Hudson's Bay with map 1744  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$4,800
$8,000 - $12,000

An Account of the Countries adjoining to Hudson's Bay, in the North-West Part of America: Containing a description of their Lakes and Rivers, the nature of the Soil and Climates, and their Methods of Commerce, &c. Shewing the Benefit to be made by settling Colonies, and opening a Trade in these Parts...

Dobbs, Arthur


Printed for J. Robinson



[4]. 211 pp. Folding engraved map, laid down on archival paper, and tipped in at the title. (4to) 24.5x18 cm (10x7") bound in half modern sheep with antique style marbled boards, new endpapers First Edition.

Arthur Dobbs, an Anglo-Irish politician who was later to acquire large landholdings in North Carolina and served as governor of the colony,  was heavily involved in attempts to find a Northwest Passage in the Canadian Arctic during the 1740's. He actively worked to have the Hudson’s Bay Company’s trade monopoly revoked on the grounds that they showed little or no interest in promoting discovery expeditions relating to the Northwest Passage. The present work was compiled from various sources, both French and English - Dobbs himself never saw Hudson's Bay. The significant map is titled "A Map of Part of North America From the Latitude of 40 to 68 Degrees, Including the late discoveries made on Board the Furnace Bomb Ketch in 1742. And the Western Rivers & Lakes falling into Nelson River in Hudson's Bay. as described By Joseph La France a French Canadese Indian who Travaled thro those Countries and Lakes for 3 Years from 1739 to 1742." It measures 33x47 cm (13x19½"), and shows North America from the Great Lakes north, including, to the west, a "Part of California" with Cape Blanco named. The account of  Defonte's voyage is the first appearance in a book. This appearance rescued it from well deserved obscurity and it played a substantial role in the debate over a northwest passage and was well represented on maps for the next 25 to 30 years. A significant imaginary voyage. Green, in his Remarks in Support of the New Chart of North and South America, in six sheets, on p 26 states that he makes use of La France's map for the region north and west of the five [great] lakes."  Hill Coll, p 84. Howes D 373. G. Williams, British Search for Northwest Passage. Verner, Stuart-Stubbs, no 21, (R)

Lot Amendments

Some wear to binding with rubbing and scuffing to boards and extremities; there is some worming at the top middle margin of the map, visible because of the archival paper mount behind it, foxing and some soiling to map, a repaired tear (is visible) through a portion of the map (to the right of ATLANTIC OCEAN) starts where it says 60 Lat. And moves down to where the bottom fold is, there's a wee bit of paper loss along the vertical folded area running from CUMBERLAND BAY to about the middle of the land mass; scattered light foxing, beginning at about p. 161 to p. 211 in the right hand margin there is a stain that starts out thin and then expands and then thins out, some very minute paper loss, which has been filled in and reinforced; a generally clean and handsome copy; very good.

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