Joseph Frederick Wallet Des Barres

Joseph Frederick Wallet Des Barres

Joseph Frederick Wallet Des Barres (1721-1824) was born in either Paris or Basel, Switzerland, to a Hugueont family. He studied under the great mathematician Daniel Bernoulli at the University of Basel before immigrating to Britain, where he trained at the Royal Military College, Woolwich.

Upon the outbreak of hostilities with France in 1756, he joined the British Royal American Regiment as a military engineer. He came to the attention of General James Wolfe, who was impressed with his charting ability. During this period, he also worked with the legendary future explorer, James Cook, on a monumental chart of the St. Lawrence River.

Des Barres is best known for the Atlantic Neptune, was a remarkable, multi-volume set of sea charts and coastal views prepared from recent surveys, some of which were overseen by Des Barres in Nova Scotia after the Seven Years’ War. The maps, charts, and views were prepared under the supervision of Des Barres and employed as many as twenty engravers and assistants. They were produced over the course of a decade, from 1774 to 1784, in time to be used by the Royal Navy in the American Revolution.

After the Revolution, Loyalists were resettled throughout Canada. As part of this process, a new colony was created by separating Cape Breton from Nova Scotia. Des Barres, who already owned extensive lands in the Maritimes, served as lieutenant governor of Cape Breton Island from 1784 to 1787. He later served as governor of Prince Edward Island from 1804-1812.

Des Barres lived an exceptionally long life, even by today's standards, finally dying at age 102. Des Barres' funeral was held at St. George's Round Church in 1824 and he is buried in Halifax.


1780 - The Coast of Nova Scotia, New England, New-York, Jersey, The Gulph and River of St. Lawrence. The Islands of Newfoundland, Cape Breton, St. John, Antecosty, Sable &c. and Soundings thereof;

  • $29.99

The magnificent capstone of British mapping of northeastern North America. A rare, monumental and momentous general chart of northeastern North America, representing the capstone of British efforts to map the region after the end of the French and...


1776 - A Plan of the Town of Newport in the Province of Rhode Island . . April 24, 1776

  • $14.99

The First Printed Plan of Newport Rhode Island The earliest printed plan of Newport, Rhode Island, published for the use of British forces just months before they occupied the town in December 1776. Based on surveys by Charles Blaskowitz, one of the...


1776 - [Cape Elizabeth to Moose Point, Maine]

  • $14.99

The best Revolutionary War chart of southern Maine. Large, two-sheet hand-colored engraved sea chart of part of the Maine coastline. The map illustrates the length of the Kennebec River to Fort Halifax. It also shows Fort Western (now Augusta),...


1776 - [Coast of Maine from Moose Cove to Gouldsboro Bay]

  • $29.99

Important early map of the Coast of Washington County, Maine, from J.F.W. Des Barres Atlantic Neptune. The map includes the areas which would later include the towns of Steuben, Cherryfield, Milbridge,, Harrington, Addison, Jonesport, Beals Jonesboro,...


1776 - The Coast of New England

  • $21.99

By far the finest 18th-century depiction of the Coast of New England issued in The Atlantic Neptune to meet the needs of British navigators during the American Revolution. This monumental chart depicts the complex coast of New England from...


1776 - [Massachusetts Bay, with Boston and Part of Cape Cod]

  • $21.99

Exceptional Revolutionary War Era Chart of Massachusetts Bay. One of the better charts from Des Barres' Atlantic Neptune, extending from Cape Ann in the north, through Boston, to Plymouth in the south, and showing Cape Cod from Wellfleet north. This...


1777 - [Boston -- 4 Views From The Harbor]

  • $14.99

Sailing Into Boston Harbor During The American Revolution Large aquatint and engraved sheet with four profile views of Boston, which were published by J.F.W. Des Barres, which appeared in his Atlantice Neptune. This sheet of views would have used by...


1781 - [Plymouth Bay, Cape Cod Bay, Duxbury Bay]

  • $14.99

Des Barres Chart of Plymouth Bay, Cape Cod Bay and Duxbury Bay Fine detailed sea chart of the area around Plymouth and Duxbury, Massachusetts, and covering Cape Cod Bay, Duxbury Bay and Plymouth Bay, published in London by Des Barres. The map shows...


1777 - [A chart of New York Island & North River: East River, showing passage through Hell Gate, and the North Shore of Long Island: Flushing Bay, Hampstead Bay, Oyster and Huntington Bay, Cow Harbor]

  • $14.99

Des Barres's rare general chart of New York and Long Island Sound. Large hand-colored engraved chart of New York City and the water route from New York Harbor to the middle of Long Island Sound, by way of the East River. Des Barres's map was the...


1779 - A Chart of New York Harbour with the Soundings Views of Land Marks and Nautical directions for the Use of Pilotage. Composed from Surveys and Observations of Lieutenants Johyn Knight, John Huntar of the Navy & Others . . . 1779 (with Sailing Directions S

  • $14.99

Des Barres's Map of New York Harbor. The Definitive Revolutionary War Era Chart of the Harbor. Highly important Revolutionary War Era chart of New York Harbor, published in the most important collection of nautical charts of the age: Des Barres's...


1780 - A Chart of the Bay and Harbour of Pensacola in the Province of West Florida Surveyed by George Gauld A.M. Published By Command of Government By J.F.W. Des Barres Esqr.

  • $14.99

The Only George Gauld Chart Published During His Lifetime. Superb engraved chart of Pensacola Harbor in Florida, published during the American Revolution by J.F.W. Des Barres, from original surveys by George Gauld. The map extends from the eastern...


1780 - A Plan of the Harbour of St. Augustin in the Province of Georgia Composed & Published from Surveys deposited in the Office of the Right Honourable the Lords of Trade . . .

  • $21.99

Striking, Intricate Map of St. Augustine, From the Atlantic Neptune Fine example of Des Barres’ massive two-sheet plan of St. Augustine, which featured in his famed and rare sea atlas, the Atlantic Neptune. The town is the oldest...


1777 - The Harbour of Charles Town in South-Carolina from the Surveys of Sr. Jas. Wallace Captain in his Majesty's Nave & Others with A View of the Town from the South Shore of Ashley River.

  • $21.99

Magnificent Revolutionary War Reconnaissance Chart of Charleston, South Carolina from The Atlantic Neptune Spectacular Revolutionary-era chart of the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina, based on British surveys taken in the weeks prior to...


1781 - [East Coast of Prince Edward Island - Rollo Bay to Wood Islands]

  • $21.99

Rare chart of the East Coast of Prince Edward Island, centered on Cardigan Bay and Panmure Island. St. John's Island (Isle of St. John) was renamed Prince Edward Island in 1798, after Edward, Duke of Kent. This fine chart appeared in the Atlantic...


1781 - A Chart of the N.E. Coast of Cape Breton Island, From St. Ann Bay to Cape Morien

  • $29.99

Rare chart of the North East Coast of Cape Breton, from Morien Bay to St Anne's Bay. This fine chart appeared in the Atlantic Neptune by Captain Joseph Frederick Wallet des Barres. The Atlantic Neptune was remarkable, multi-volume set of sea charts...


1777 - [Long Island Sound from Hampstead Bay to Huntington Bay]

  • $9.99

Rare Des Barres chart of Long Island Sound, covering the coast of the north shore of Long Island roughly from Hampstead Bay to Huntington Bay, and including Oyster Bay and Cold Spring. The present chart constitutes a partial section of Des Barres's...