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New Zealand 1826-1827: From the French of Dumont D'Urville

Appendix A

page 232

Appendix A

1. Bougainville
2. Surville
3. Marion
4. La Perouse
5. D'Entrecasteaux
6. Baudin
7. Freycinet
8. Duperrey
9. Blosseville
10. Krusenstern
11. Berthoud
12. Fleurieu
13. Rochon
1.Bougainville (Louis Antoine de) 1729-1811, was a man after d'Urville's own heart, who began his career in the diplomatic service, saw fighting under Montcalm in Canada,' then transferred to the navy. A man of good family and substance, he undertook to colonize the Falkland Islands at his own expense. When the French abandoned the Islands to Spain, Bougainville was put in command of a voyage of discovery. With his ships the Boudeuse and the Etoile, he searched the Pacific for new lands, named a number of islands, visited Tahiti, leaving it with a native Aotourou on board, and explored part of the coast of New Guinea and New Holland, establishing excellent relations with natives in many regions. His name figures on the map of the Pacific in the Solomon Islands, which he charted, and in the New Hebrides; it is also borne by the beautiful vine Bougainvillia. He lived through the French Revolution and accepted honours from Napoleon. Bougainville completed his great voyage when he sailed into S. Malo in March 1769. In 1771 he published "with royal approval and privilege" his Voyage autour du Monde de la Frégate du Roi la Boudeuse et la Flûte l'Etoile, en 1766, 1767, 1768, 1769, a work consisting of two fascinating volumes with numerous maps. His preface opens with this statement: "The voyage which I am about to relate is the first example of an enterprise of this kind undertaken by Frenchmen and carried out by Your Majesty's ships." D'Urville sees in the navigator a worthy forerunner of the great Cook, hailing him as "our famous Bougainville, who opened the way to French navigators." After quoting a list of Bougainville's discoveries, d'Urville adds characteristically: "This voyage, so important in itself, would have been of even greater importance, if it had been possible to fix the exact position of the islands discovered and if the geographical details had been more accurate." An English page 233translation by John Reinhold Forster, F.A.S., was published in London in 1772, the title page describing Bougainville as Colonel of Foot and Commodore of the Expedition…. Both books well repay study. Dr. J. C. Beaglehole cites the Voyage in the bibliography of his book The Exploration of the Pacific and devotes a section to Bougainville, pp. 255-263.
2.Surville(Jean Francois Marie de) was a very different type of man from the navigators who commanded ships of the royal navy. A captain in the service of the French East India Company, he sailed from Pondicherry on a private trading expedition, which took him to the Solomon Islands in 1769, a year after Bougainville's visit. There he had difficulties with the natives, but according to d'Urville, gleaned some useful information. Surville was the first Frenchman to land in New Zealand, which he sighted to the south of Hokianga on December 12, 1769, at a moment when Cook was almost opposite him on the east coast. Contrary winds drove Cook out to sea, but Surville sailed north and then, because of his sick men, made his way to the east coast of New Zealand, anchoring in Doubtless Bay on December 17. He received great kindness from a chief Nagui-Noui. Then misunderstandings arose and the Frenchman acted with the greatest brutality, kidnapping Nagui-Noui and burning the village before he sailed away to reach Peru. The chief died at sea and Surville himself was drowned on 8 March 1770 in an attempt to take a small boat over the bar of the harbour of Chilca. But the natives of New Zealand remembered his misdeeds. There is a reference to one Stivers in a native song quoted in Kendall's Grammar, and in d'Urville's opinion this "man who visited the Bay of Islands before Captain Cook" was no other than Surville. An interesting extract based on Surville's narrative is to be found in the Nouveau Voyage à la Mer du Sud, etc., by Crozet, Paris, 1783. The complete narrative has never been published, but a photostat copy of part of the MS., with a typescript rendering in modern French, was presented to the Alexander Turnbull Library, N.Z., by M. Gazel, Minister of France to New Zealand.
3.Marion (more correctly Marion-Dufresne, Nicolas Thomas) 1720-1772, a French naval Commander, was commissioned in 1770 to take the native Aotourou (who had accompanied Bougainville to Paris) back to Tahiti and then to carry out further exploration of the Pacific. He called at the Cape shortly before Cook, who was then on his second voyage, and discovered Prince Edward's Island, Marion Island and Arid Island. When he dropped anchor in Frederick Hendrik Bay on April 4, 1772, he and his companions were the first Europeans since Tasman to visit Van Diemen's Land. Three weeks later he reached New Zealand, running along the west coast of the North Island and anchoring in the Bay of Islands on the 4th of May. Here he established excellent relations with the natives, setting up a tent hospital on Motou Roua for his sick. Such confidence and friendship developed on both sides, that Marion ordered his men to go ashore unarmed. On June 13, there occurred one of the worst tragedies of the early history of New Zealand. Marion page 234himself had taken a party ashore on the 12th, but no anxiety was felt when he did not return as expected. A second boat was sent out the next day on a routine errand to get wood and water. Suddenly, those left on board caught sight of a French sailor in the water struggling desperately to reach the ship. He was the sole survivor of a massacre; moreover there could be no doubt as to the fate of Marion himself and the men with him. D'Urville took great pains to question natives about this treachery. It seems clear that the friendly natives must be exonerated and the crime be attributed to Nagui-Noui's people, who thus took revenge on Surville's compatriots. There is an interesting study of Marion by Crozet—Nouveau Voyage à la Mer du Sud, Paris, 1783.
4.La Pérouse(Jean Francois de Galaup, Comte de)1741-1788, entered the navy at the age of 15, was wounded and taken prisoner in the Battle of Belle Isle 1759. He took part in the American War of Independence and made a cruise in Hudson Bay in 1782. Later, under Louis XVI, La Pérouse was sent on a voyage of discovery, his two ships the Astrolabe and the Boussole leaving Brest on August 1, 1785. He rounded Cape Horn, sailed up the west coast of North America, then out into the Pacific, where he discovered a number of islands. Turning first towards Japan, he afterwards reconnoitred the strait that bears his name between Sakhalin and Korea. From Kamtchatka (September 1787) he sent the narrative and maps of the voyage back to France by de Lesseps. He himself sailed to the south, met trouble with natives, and from Botany Bay sent what proved to be his last report to the Secretary to the Admiralty in Paris (January 26, 1788). After that, mystery shrouded his fate until the English Captain Dillon, sailing the Pacific, found a clue in the possession of a native and Dumont d'Urville finally discovered traces of the expedition among the rocks of Vanikoro and erected a monument bearing the inscription: A la Mémoire de La Pérouse et de ses Compagnons. L' Astrolabe 14 Mars 1828. (To the Memory of La Pérouse and his Companions.) There could be no doubt that after shipwreck, La Pérouse and his companions had been massacred.
5.D'entrecasteaux(Antoine-Raymond-Joseph de Bruni Chevalier d')1737-1793, entered the navy in 1754 and fought off Minorca in the Seven Years War 1756. After 1763 he was in charge of naval affairs in the Indian Ocean and proved a firm administrator in the East Indies till 1789. After promotion to the rank of Rear-Admiral, d'Entrecasteaux was sent in search of La Perouse, missing since 1788. He searched the coasts of New Holland, New Caledonia, the New Hebrides, and the Solomon Islands, as well as other archipelagos. D'Urville states that he charted about 25 miles of the coast of New Zealand, but had very little contact with the natives. He even called at Vanikoro, but failing to find any trace of La Perouse, he continued his search on the shores of New Guinea. After his death at sea off Java, Rossel took the expedition back to France. The narrative of the voyage was published by Rossel under the title of Voyage de d'Entrecasteaux à la recherche de La Pérouse, Paris 1808.page 235
6.Baudin(Nicolas)1750-1803, was a French navigator appointed to command an expedition of three ships, two of which were named the Geographe and the Naturaliste. In 1801 he set out on a voyage of exploration, charting the west and south coasts of New Holland and Van Diemen's Land at about the same time as Flinders, and dropping anchor in Sydney Harbour in June 1802. D'Urville delighted in talking with an old sailor whom he found on the He de France (Mauritius) and who had served under Baudin. The navigator died before the end of the voyage (1804) and his memory remained almost without honour. It would appear that Baudin found the scientists who accompanied him—Péron and de Freycinet were among them—difficult colleagues and that his own autocratic attitude as commander increased the friction on board. Baudin is not credited with any new discoveries and Flinders is somewhat scornful of him. D'Urville recognizes that the English navigator's work in marine geography was far superior to anything accomplished by the French on this voyage. On the other hand, he commends the work done by Péron and his colleagues on the geography of the continent itself. The results of the expedition were published in 1807 by Peron and de Freycinet. The work ran into several editions and in 1815 Baudin's name appeared on the title page as Post Captain, Commanding the Expedition. An English translation was published in 1809.
7.Freycinet (Louis Claude Desaulses de) 1779-1842 served under Baudin and from 1805 prepared the maps and plans of that expedition, publishing the complete work 1807-1816. In 1817 he commanded the Uranie and the Physicienne on an expedition, accompanied by his wife, as well as by the scientists Duperrey, Gaimard, and Quoy. The voyage lasted three years, de Freycinet visiting Australia, the Sandwich Islands, other Pacific Islands, South America, etc. When on the return journey his ship was wrecked off the Falkland Islands, the entire company escaped to an uninhabited island, where they were stranded for some weeks before being rescued by an American fishing boat, which took them into Rio de Janeiro. There de Freycinet bought a ship in which he returned to France, reaching Havre November 13, 1820, with much valuable material on board. D'Urville records that Messrs. Quoy and Gaudichaud were the first Frenchmen to penetrate the Blue Mountains and remarks that M. de Freycinet travelled in style as a Grand Seigneur. Arago wrote a lively account entitled Promenade autour du Monde but the official publication "on a lavish scale," begun in 1825, was not completed until 1839. While recognizing the great services rendered to natural history, d'Urville regards this voyage as of comparatively little importance to geography.
8.Duperrey(Louis-Isidore)1786-1865, a French seaman and scholar, made his first great voyage under de Freycinet on the Uranie (1817-1820). His second voyage as commander of the Coquille (1822-1825) is dealt with in the Essay on d'Urville. Duperrey became President of the Académie des Sciences in 1850.page 236
9.Blosseville(Jules Alphonse Rene Poret, Baron de) 1802-1833 served as an officer on the Coquille under Duperrey and thus visited the Bay of Islands in 1824. In a Mémoire géographique sur la Nouvelle Zelande (1826) he published information that he had collected from whaling captains. Blosseville died on board the Lilloise in the Arctic Ocean, while charting the eastern coast of Greenland.
10.Krusenstern(Adam Ivan)1770-1846. This Russian navigator and hydro-grapher was seconded to the British fleet 1793-1799 and visited America, India, and China. In 1803 he left Kronstadt in command of the Nadeshda and the Neva, two English ships bought in London for the Czar Alexander I. The purpose of the voyage was to investigate the advantages of direct communication between Russia and China by Cape Horn and the Cape of Good Hope. Krusenstern sailed via Cape Horn to Kamchatka and thence to Japan, returning to Kronstadt (1806) by the Cape of Good Hope. D'Urville records that while Krusenstern made no new dis coveries in the Pacific (1804-5), he collected much valuable information there. His was the first Russian expedition to circumnavigate the world and d'Urville paid homage to him in bestowing his name on Cape Krusenstern in Hauraki Gulf. There are also Krusenstern Islands in the Caroline Archipelago. An English translation from the original German by Richard Belgrave Hoppner, was published in 1813 by John Murray of London, Bookseller to the Admiralty and the Board of Longitude. The title page reads "Voyage round the World in the Years 1803, 1804, 1805, 1806, by order of His Imperial Majesty Alexander the First, on board the ships Nadeshda and Neva, under the command of Captain A. J. von Krusenstern of the Imperial Navy." According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, "Krusenstern's Voyage round the world in 1803-1806 was published in S, Petersburg in 1810-1814"; but no indication is given as to the language of the narrative. In his preface to the English edition, Hoppner states that "the work arrived in this country from Berlin, where it was reprinted from the original." That Krusenstern was familiar with French is implied by his choice of a saying by de Brosse—Les marins écrivent mal mais avec assez de candeur—for his title page, a motto which Hoppner judges very appropriate to a work whose characteristic feature is "accuracy rather than elegance of description." As to "the plates which are meant to embellish and illustrate Captain Krusen stern's voyage," Hoppner adds: "A set of them has indeed been seen by the translator, who can venture to say that, from the indifferent manner in which they are executed and the very little information which they convey, the book has suffered no defect from the want of them." A French version, with a volume of plates, was published in Paris in 1821, as an "authorized translation with additions by the author."
11.Berthoud(Ferdinand)1727-1807, a Swiss watchmaker, entered the service of the French King Louis XV and invented the marine watch, or chronometer, tested on the voyage of the IsisNovember 1768-October 1769. Navigators were acutely conscious of the difficulties of ascertaining their exact position and governments page 237desirous of protection for their ships encouraged research in marine instruments. In London there was a Board of Longitude attached to the Admiralty and awards were offered for inventions. It was claimed that the chronometer invented by Berthoud and Fleurieu enabled navigators to "establish longitude accurately whatever the state of the sea or the difference in temperature." The fact that Berthoud was in the King's service excluded him from the competitions organized by the Académie des Sciences, but after the return of the Isis he was made inspector of nautical watches.
12.Fleurieu(Charles-Pierre Claret, Comte de) 1738-1810. After serving in the Seven Years' War, Fleurieu became famous for his work on the chronometer, which proved its value in 1769 on the voyage of the Isis. He worked with Berthoud. Fleurieu drew up plans for naval operations in the War of American Independence and drafted instructions for the voyage undertaken by La Pérouse. He published valuable accounts of long distance voyages, e.g., Discoveries of the French in 1768 and 1769 to the South-east of New Guinea, etc. 1791, a handsome volume dealing with Surville, Bougainville, etc., and written to justify French claims to discoveries which were disputed by English navigators. Fleurieu was in office as minister of naval affairs during a period of unrest under the Constituent Assembly, and as Governor of the Dauphin suffered imprisonment. But in 1795 he became a member of the Institut and died full of honours as a member of the Council of State, Senator, and Governor of the Tuileries under Napoleon. He is sometimes known as Claret.
13.Rochon(Alexis-Marie)1741-1817. This French astronomer and physicist in the service of the navy made several scientific voyages of discovery, determining the best route to follow to reach Mauritius and Bourbon Islands. In 1787 he was appointed astronomer and chief of optics to the navy. He suffered vicissitudes during the Revolution, but became Director of Brest Observatory, which post he held till 1802. Rochon's inventions include the telescope that bears his name, the diasporameter (1777), and an improved system of lights for ships. He published a number of scientific works and narratives of voyages of discovery.