Linda Hall Library of Science, Engineering, & Technology
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39. Volcanoes of the Kamchatka Peninsula, 1790

Lesseps, Jean Bapiste Barthélemy baron de (1766-1834). Journal historique du voyage de M. de Lesseps ... employé dans l’expédition de M. le comte de La Pérouse. Paris: De l’Imprimerie Royale, 1790.

In 1788 Barthelemy de Lesseps was disembarked on the Kamchatka penisula by Commander La Perouse, then in the middle of a round-the-world voyage. Lesseps’ task was to take the ship’s journal overland back to France, in the event that something happened to the ships. It was a fortuitous precaution, since the vessels, and La Perouse, disappeared shortly thereafter.

In making his way along Kamchatka, Lesseps observed a number of active volcanoes. The plate displayed probably is intended to show Lesseps himself, on a dog sled, and there is a volcano actively erupting in the background. Lesseps did not identify the volcano in the illustration, but it was probably Tolbachik, which he mentions later in the text by name.

For a map that shows the volcanoes of Kamchatka, including Tobalchik, see exhibit item 41.