|Diario de la Navegacion desde el Puerto de Callao de Lima, al de San Carlos de la Isla de Chiloé: en el qual se da noticia de las operaciones practicadas en el reconocimiento de dicha isla y sus inmediatas… |
Quarto, 258 x 202 mm, 416 pp. beautifully written in ink in a cursive hand, decorated with eight vignettes (pp. 7, 33, 155, 163, 219, 221, 283, 310) and two smaller tailpieces; in fine condition in its original binding of contemporary Spanish calf, spine gilt with raised bands.
Unpublished original journal of Pacific coastal exploration, by the great Chilean hydrographer
An exceptionally handsome unpublished manuscript journal: this small masterpiece, beautifully illustrated with pen-and-ink drawings, was created as an original record by the Spanish-born navigator and hydrographer Moraleda, chief pilot of the Royal Armada, of his command of an expedition to explore and survey the coasts of Chiloé and the Chronos archipelago. It is a significant original account of important early Pacific coastal exploration, a central part of which would be published some ninety years later in the delayed account of the Malaspina voyage. Moraleda’s manuscript is in fact one of the earliest reports of Malaspina’s expedition, mentioning the arrival at Chiloé of the two Spanish ships, as well as the purpose of the expedition and its equipment. In this beautiful manuscript the distinguished South American hydrographer describes his navigation along the Pacific coast between 1786 and 1790, and provides a substantial early description of the island of Chiloé (later an important location for Darwin during the Beagle voyage) and its associated archipelago.
Moraleda y Montero
José Mañuel Moraleda y Montero (1750-1810), Spanish-born navigator and cartographer, was educated in Cádiz. As a young man he sailed as pilot on the voyage of the Spanish warship El Buen Consejo in a convoy of merchantmen and warships from Cádiz to Batavia and Manila via the Cape of Good Hope in 1768-9. His beautiful original journal of that voyage was described in our 2005 catalogue.
Subsequently Moraleda sailed from Cádiz to Lima, arriving in 1775 in the Nuestra Señora de Montserrat. He settled in South America where he made a name for himself for cartographical and hydrographical excellence in his surveys in various parts of the continent, and especially Chile. As he records on the title-page here below his name, he was named chief pilot of the Royal Armada from 1786 to 1788. In fact it was in 1786 that the viceroy of Peru appointed him to command an expedition to survey Chiloé and the archipelago. Moraleda had a small vessel prepared, the Nuestra Señora de los Dolores, less than 12 metres in length to suit the navigational and weather conditions expected along the way, all anticipated to be harsh: currents, winds, and climate. A second vessel acquired later was even smaller. Thus began his expeditions to Chiloé between 1786 and 1790, the subject of this manuscript. Subsequently, between 1792 and 1795, he undertook further journeys to the neighbouring region of the Chonos archipelago.
Moraleda’s descriptions of the coasts of Chiloé and the Chronos archipelago as “an intricate labyrinth” with his explanations of the hazards and the inhospitableness of the region would ultimately deter the Spanish from taking much closer interest at that time. Some forty years later it became a place of considerable significance to Charles Darwin and the Beagle. By the time of the Beagle’s visit the region had come under Chilean administration, indeed the oppressed natives hoped that the visit of the English might signify a new colonial ruler. Considerable detail appears in the Darwin Online project at http://darwin-online.org.uk/EditorialIntroductions/Chancellor_fieldNotebooks1.8.html.
The manuscript is in two parts, the first Moraleda’s narrative journal divided into multiple sections representing the different stages of the expedition, and the second a detailed description of Chiloé, which stands as one of the earliest - certainly the most important and extensive - detailed descriptions of the region, and the inhabitants of the island, their production and trade (“Brebe descripción de la Provincia de Chiloé, su población, carácter de sus habitantes, producciones y comercio”; 60 pp.).
The manuscript itself is a small masterpiece with its elegant calligraphy and accomplished pen and ink vignettes. These charming drawings, eight of them in the larger size, are immediately recognisable as the work of Moraleda, the skilled artist familiar from his El Buen Consejo manuscript. The text is signed by him in at least five different places. The handsome contemporary binding is lettered ‘I’ on the spine, perhaps suggesting that his subsequent related journey to the Chonos archipelago may have been written up in a subsequent manuscript - but if it did ever exist certainly its present location is unknown, and it may not have survived.
As an inscription on the half-title shows, this volume was presented by Jose Arenales (Ildefonso José Alvarez de Arenales, 1798-1862, engineer, military and political figure in Peru, Chile and Argentina, and an important figure in the campaign for the independence of Peru), to a M. Lossier (whom we have not been able to identify). The form of the inscription suggests that it was presented as a single volume; since Arenales died in 1862 we may assume that this volume was alone at that date and probably never intended to form part of a series. Certainly it is complete as it stands and records a discrete series of travels. Moraleda’s subsequent travels to the Chonos region did not begin until another two years had elapsed.
|Location of Origin: Latin America|
|Medium/Materials: Printed book: refer description for details|
|Dimensions: Quarto, 258 x 202 mm|
|Primary Classification: Antique Books, Manuscripts, and Maps : Antiques Books and Historical Books|
|Secondary Classification: Fossils, Science, Natural History, and Rocks for Sale : Books / Documents / Journals|
|Moraleda’s various journals|
Moraleda was a thorough author who kept comprehensive and detailed account of his various expeditions. His naval work and surveying was of great significance. In keeping with Spanish approaches to secrecy and awareness of the value of discoveries and geographical and navigational detail, no contemporary printed version of this or any of his journals exists. A journal had to be presented to Spanish authorities as was required, and indeed a very similar manuscript - though evidently not absolutely identical, since there is a difference in wording even in the title itself - is today in the Museo Naval in Madrid, as can be seen in the major study of Moraleda’s manuscript journals by Rafael Sagredo Baeza (Navegación científica en el Mar del Sur. El piloto Moraleda (1772-1810): “Scientific Navigation in the South Sea. The pilot Moraleda…”, accessible at https://revistahistoria.universia.net/article/viewFile/213/339.
There is a substantial literature on Moraleda and his navigational work. Macarena Ríos Llaneza (Práctica científica en el Pacífico centroamericano. Los viajes de José Moraleda (1802-1804) accessible at http://www.scielo.cl/) has closely examined Moraleda’s voyages between 1772 and 1804 in order to best elucidate the last of them. The four sets of voyages discussed by him are:
1. From Cádiz to Lima, 1772-1775, in the Nuestra Señora de Montserrat
2. Between Callao de Lima and San Carlos, Chiloé, 1787-1790, in the Nuestra Señora de los Dolores and the El Socorro, to reconnoitre the island and archipelago of Chiloé - as described in the present manuscript.
3. From Callao de Lima to San Carlos, Chiloé and on to the Patagonian coast, 1792-1795, in the Santa Teresa and the Carmen y Rosario, to reconnoitre the Chonos archipelago
4. From Callao de Lima to Guayaquil and on to the coasts of Veragua, Rica, Nicaragua and Guatemala, 1802-1804, in the Alavesa
Apart from the manuscripts in the Museo Naval, Madrid, no other manuscript versions are known and no printed versions exist.
Our manuscript is certainly authorial, the illustrations are unmistakably in Moraleda’s hand, and it is signed by Moraleda in a number of different places. The overall fineness and careful preparation, together with the very high quality of the illustrations, may well indicate that this manuscript was created by him for a very specific purpose and we would suggest most likely either for his personal library or for presentation to an important figure. However if the latter were the case one would expect an ornate presentation inscription to match the style of the manuscript,and there is none such here. It seems likely that this was to remain his personal copy. Certainly the manuscript must have remained in private ownership in view of the later presentation by Jose Arenales (see above).
Despite the general intention never to publish such materials, one part of this did in fact make it into print some ninety years later, in the hugely delayed publication of the Malaspina voyage. Moraleda’s sailing instructions for the area of Chiloé - the “Derrotero de la isla Chiloé” - are reprinted at length in Novo y Colson’s publication of Malaspina’s voyage, Viaje político-científico alrededor del mundo por las corbetas Descubierta y Atrevida… (Madrid, 1885).
Moraleda did indeed have a connection with Malaspina. In this manuscript he writes succinctly of Malaspina’s expedition, and his record is probably one of the earliest reports of the famous expedition, mentioning the arrival at Chiloé of Malaspina’s two ships, as well as the purpose of the expedition and its equipment. He was impressed by the fittings and equipment on the two ships “the Descubierta and the Atrevida… These vessels, the first under the command of Dn. Alexandro Malaspina, the second commanded by Dn. José Bustamante, are lined in copper; well supplied with the very best astronomical and nautical instruments, and a library, almost complete with the major works relating to their commission and all the other tools needed for such a long expedition… to make astronomical observations, take soundings… and observe and investigate as much as relates to Natural History, Trade, and the Political and Military State of the Royal Possessions”.
The Chilean historian Barros Arana describes the meeting between Moraleda and the Spanish explorers, when Moraleda was able to supply the explorers with detailed information on coasts and ports in those waters, from direct observations made during his explorations described in this manuscript (Exploraciones Geográficas e hidrograficas, José de Moraleda y Montero, Santiago de Chile, 1885, Introducción).
|Item Condition:||In superb original condition.|
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