Eugène Duflot de Mofras
He was the 7th son of Vost Cosme Nicolas Duflot and Anne Julie Mofras. In the latter 1830s he became an attaché of the French legation to Mexico.
In 1839 Duflot de Mofras was dispatched from his French legation post in Mexico City to explore the Pacific Coast of North America from 1840−1842, to access the Mexican Alta California and American Oregon Territory regions for French business interests. He travelled along and documented the western coast of mainland Mexico, the Colorado River mouth, the Baja California Peninsula coasts, and the present day West Coast of the United States in California and Oregon.
While stationed at Yerba Buena (present day San Francisco), he traveled inland to see the Rancho New Helvetia agricultural colony of John Sutter. The 1848 discovery of gold on the rancho set off the California Gold Rush. Duflot de Mofras completed his journey in 1842.
- He wrote in 1840 "…it is evident that California will belong to whatever nation chooses to send there a man-of-war and two hundred men."
His account was published in 1844 as the 2 volume work Exploration du territoire de l’Orégon, des Californies et de la mer Vermeille, exécutée pendant les années 1840, 1841 et 1842 (Exploring the Oregon Territory, California and the Pacific Coast), by the Arthus Bertrand press in Paris.
It recorded the commercial, political, and military significance of the regions, and activities of the Spanish, English, and Americans there. It includes descriptions of life at some of the Spanish missions in California, including the Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo and Mission Santa Cruz.
- Biodiversitylibrary.org: Exploration du territoire de l'Orégon, des Californies, et de la mer Vermeille
- Duflot de Mofras, Eugène (1844). Exploration du territoire de l’Orégon, des Californies et de la mer Vermeille, exécutée pendant les années 1840, 1841 et 1842.; Google Books.
- Google Books: "Old California Houses: Portraits and Stories"; 'Fort Ross, a count and a princess' chapter, pgs. 4−10.
- Jstor.org: Review of "Duflot de Mofras' Travels on the Pacific Coast, by Eugène Duflot de Mofras", translated, annotated, and edited by Margaret Eyer Wilbur; published by The Fine Arts Press, Santa Ana, California, 1937; reviewed by George Verne Blue, Oregon Historical Quarterly Vol. 39, No. 3; September 1938.
- Bancroft, Hubert Howe (1884–1890). History of California. pp. v.4, p.260. The online collective works of Hubert Howe Bancroft.
- Biodiversitylibrary.org: Exploration du territoire de l'Orégon, des Californies, et de la mer Vermeille summary
- Works by or about Eugène Duflot de Mofras at Internet Archive
- Google Books: Exploration du territoire de l'Orégon, des Californies, et de la mer Vermeille (French) — complete scan of book, from the collection of New York Public Library.
- Biodiversitylibrary.org: Exploration du territoire de l'Orégon, des Californies, et de la mer Vermeille — title pages and high resolution period maps.