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

Appendix C

page 241

Appendix C

1. Adélie Land 1950
2. Registered Classes
3. Pelagius
4. Rev. Samuel Marsden. Thomas Kendall
5. A Grammar and Vocabulary of the Language of New Zealand
6. The Pihe
7. The Word Maori
8. The Ship Boyd
9. Scientific Instruments

South Polar Expedition lands on uncharted Adélie Land, 20 January 1950.— Breaking through the Antarctic ice pack after fifteen days' search for a passage through a forty-mile wall of ice, eleven scientists of the French South Polar Expedi tion landed on virtually uncharted Adélie Land on January 20, 110 years to the day after the French explorer Dumont d'Urville first claimed the territory for France. The break in the ice was discovered by an air reconnaissance made in a Stinson hydroplane carried on board the Expedition's ship, the Commandant Charcot. The eleven-man party, under the direction of André Liotard, will be the second in history to attempt one or two years' stay on the mainland of the frozen South Polar Con tinent, which is covered by an ice-cap as large as the United States and half of Canada. Exactly the same party, sailing on the same ship, tried to reach Adélie Land in the winter of 1948-49 but was unable to break through and returned to France after completing research along Antarctica's shores.

Organizer and initiator of both the Adélie Land Expedition and France's North Polar Expedition to Greenland is Paul E. Victor, veteran explorer and ethnographer. He hopes to join the Adélie Land party next fall.

—From French News Bulletin published by the French Legation in New Zealand.


Registered Classes—Upon the demand of the Commander of a naval base, the navy officials in every French coast town, where there was a fishing fleet, were required to furnish lists of men available for service at sea. But local ties of friend ship often proved stronger than the demands of public duty, and when a call-up came, there might be so many exemptions and evasions that no skilled men were forthcoming to man a ship setting out on a long, hazardous voyage. Thus, as d'Urville says, the registered classes proved sterile in spite of orders received. Similar difficulties have been known to arise even as late as 1908.

Note based on private correspondence.—O.W.

3.Pelagius (Sp. Pelayo, Fr., Pélage).—When in the 8th Century a.D. invaders from Africa conquered Spain and advanced into Gaul, there were districts in the north page 242which never fell wholly under the Mohammedan yoke. In the centre, the Basques on both sides of the Pyrenees maintained their ancient independence; on the east, a group laid the foundation of the Kingdom of Navarre; while on the west, in the mountains of Asturias, there arose the legendary ancestors of those Kings of Castile who became in time the Kings of Christian Spain. Hence the importance of Pelagius, who is said to have reigned from 718-739 over the Christian remnant of the Asturias and to have carried off a great victory at Covadonga.

Rev. Samuel Marsden (1764-1838)—"Apostle of New Zealand"—was born in a village near Leeds. The Elland Society supplied funds to enable him to enter St. John's College, Cambridge, but in 1793 he abandoned his studies to proceed to New South Wales as second chaplain to the penal colony. Contact with New Zealand chiefs, some of whom stayed with him in his home at Parramatta, led him first to send two missionaries and later (1814) to accompany them himself as their guest. In all he made seven voyages to New Zealand (1814-1837); travelled about the country and established friendly relations with the natives. He was appointed Superintendent of the Mission of the Church Missionary Society in New Zealand and "must be regarded as one of the most important of the settlers and civilizers of the country." (Dictionary of National Biography.) See also Letters and Journals of Samuel Marsden, edited by John Rawson Elder, Dunedin, 1932.

For Thomas Kendall, see Note 5.

5.A Grammar and Vocabulary of the Language of New Zealand compiled for the use of the Missionaries and Settlers in that Island under the auspices of the Church Missionary Society, London, printed by R. Watts for the Church Missionary Society; and sold by L. B. Sealey, Fleet Street, and John Hatchard and Son, Piccadilly, 1820—so reads the title page of a copy of this exciting little book to be found in the Alexander Turnbull Library: exciting because it represents the first attempt to subject the language of the natives to systematic treatment. It was the result of the co-operation of two men: Thomas Kendall, at that time a lay missionary of the Society, and Prof. Samuel Lee (1783-1852) of Cambridge. Kendall had lived for at least five years among the natives of the Bay of Islands and had collected the material, having in mind the needs of the projected schools for natives. Prof. Lee was a very remarkable man, who, from a humble beginning, had already in 1820 become a renowned scholar of Queen's College, Cambridge. In 1816 he had pub lished the New Testament in Syriac, the first of a series of learned works. Later he was to occupy the Chair of Arabic and finally to become Regius Professor of Hebrew in Cambridge (1831). Eager to assist the work of evangelization among the natives of New Zeaalnd, Lee worked on Kendall's material and produced a text book which any teacher must delight to handle. It is wonderfully "modern" in its method of teaching language by question and answer; clear and systematic in the grammar section; and remarkably comprehensive, containing familiar dialogues between a Christian missionary and his pupil, the Lord's Prayer and the Creed, page 243some native songs (including the Pihe), and a miniature dictionary of Maori words. As it was intended for use among natives unaccustomed to handling books, some copies were printed on strong coarse paper. An interesting note on both the men and the book is to be found in Marsdens Lieutenants, edited by John Rawson Elder, Dunedin 1934, but the Grammar itself should be studied if possible.
6.The Pihe was the native song that d'Urville found the most interesting. He quotes it in his Voyage Pittoresque autour du Monde, but agrees with Mr. Kendall that no European at that date was able to give even a rough translation. According to the Dictionary of the New Zealand Language by the Ven. W. L. Williams (Wellington, 1915), the Pihe was a song sung over the bodies of the slain. It was a dirge sung at funeral ceremonies in the north and Sir Peter Buck describes a performance with spears (The Coming of the Maori, p. 425). It seems clear that d'Urville was wrong in calling the Pihe the National Song: but he himself notes that it was best known among the tribes living in the north of the North Island.
7.The word "Maori." In Kendall's Grammar and Vocabulary of New Zealand 1820 we find:—"Máodi, a. indigenous, native; as, Etángata máodi—a native man: Wai máodi—native water: Kai máodi—native victuals. Also a proper name." But the term cannot have been in general use to indicate the race, or so careful an observer as d'Urville would have noted it. The first example of its use in English quoted by the New Oxford Dictionary is dated 1843 Penny Cycl. XXVII: "The natives call themselves Maori (aborigines) in contradistinction to the foreigners, or pakeha." Bishop Williams (Journal of the Polynesian Society) says that the word means "of the normal or usual kind." The Pakehas (white men) were not men to whom the natives were accustomed. So Maori was used as opposed to the Europeans, the white skins. Kuri Maori was a name used for a dog after the arrival of other quadrupeds called also Kuri. Wai Maori was fresh water, ordinary, as opposed to sea water. See Edward E. Morris, Austral English, 1898.
8The Boyd.—1809-1810. This ship from New South Wales, trading along the north coast of New Zealand, had on board Tara, a chief from Whangaroa. He was flogged by order of the Captain—a gross breach of tapou. When Tara returned to his tribe, he reported the offence and his people massacred the whole crew. The only survivors were a woman and two children, who owed their escape to the efforts of Te Pehi, a "first chief."

Scientific Instruments.Barometers. The terms pouce and ligne are French measures of length which were current from 1350 a.d. to 1799 a.d. The standard foot, pied de roi, measured 12.7893 English inches (324.84 mm.); the pouce was one-twelfth of a pied (= 1.0657 inches); the ligne was one-twelfth of a pouce. French barometers of the 18th century registered in these units; 27P 0L would correspond to 28.8 English inches of mercury and 27P 2L to 29.0 English inches of mercury.

(I am indebted to F. A. B. Ward, Esq. of the Science Museum, London, for this information.—O.W.)

page 244

Chronometers—The errors of chronometers of Mdtel and Berthoud of about 1800-1825 were of the order of one second per day or a little less. Present day chronometers achieve an accuracy probably ten times as great, their errors under similar conditions being of the order of one-tenth of a second per day. The improvement is due mainly to better and more accurate methods of compensation for changes of temperature.

Thermometers.—As thermometers were used unscreened at this date, the readings given cannot be compared with modern observations. I have been unable to ascertain exactly what kind of thermometers d'Urville used, or what errors might be expected in his records.—O.W.

page 245
Chronological Table 1789-1848
1789 Meeting of the States General of France, which became the National Assembly and finally the Constituent Assembly La Bastille stormed 14 July
1790 Dumont d'Urville born 23 May 1
1790-1791 Work begun on the New Constitution: feudal privileges abolished 4 August 1791
1792 The Convention
1793-1794 The Terror
Louis XVI guillotined 21 January 1793
1795-1799 The Directory
1799-1814 Napoleon Consul then Emperor
1804 Dumont d'Urville entered the Lycée Malherbe of Caen 4
1805 The Battle of Trafalgar
1807 Dumont d'Urville entered the French Navy at Brest 6
1810-1814 Dumont d'Urville at Toulon 7
1814 Abdication of Napoleon 6 April
1814 The Return of the Bourbons Louis XVII became King 5 May
Dumont d'Urville's voyage to Sicily 8
1815 The Hundred Days 1 March-18 June (Waterloo)
Dumont d'Urville's marriage
The Return of the Bourbons
1820 The Voyage of the Chevrette; the acquisition of the Venus de Milo 10
Publication of A Grammar and Vocabulary of the Language of New Zealand, by Rev. Samuel Lee and Thomas Kendall (London)
1821 Dumont d'Urville made Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur 1 May 11
1822-1825 Voyage of the Coquille 12
1824 Dumont d'Urville's first visit to New Zealand March-April 15
Charles X became King 16 September
1825 Publication of The Flora of the Falkland Islands (Paris) 16
Dumont d'Urville promoted to the rank of Commander 12 November
1826-1829 Voyage of the Astrolabe 18-20
Departure from Toulon 25 April 18
1827 Dumont d'Urville's second visit to New Zealand January-March 51-226
1828 Relics of La Pérouse discovered at Vanikoro 27 February 19page 246
1829 Return of the Astrolabe to Marseilles 25 March 20
Dumont d'Urville promoted to the rank of Post Captain 8 August 22
1830 Publication of Volume I of Le Voyage de I' Astrolabe (Paris) 27
Abdication of Charles X 30 July
Louis-Philippe (d'Orléans) succeeded Charles X
Dumont d'Urville conducted the Royal Family to England 16-23 August 28
1830-1835 Publication of Le Voyage de l' Astrolabe (Paris) 27
1834 Publication of Le Voyage Pittoresque Autour du Monde(Paris) Volume I 31
1835 Ditto, Volume II 31
1835-1837 Dumont d'Urville at Toulon 30-32
1837 Preparations for the Voyage to the South Pole and the 33
Pacific May—September 34
Visit to London 26 April-6 May 34
1837-1840 Voyage to the South Pole 34-43
Departure of the Astrolabe and the Zélée from Toulon 7 September 35
1838 First dash to the South Pole 9 January 35
Discovery of Louis Philippe Land and Joinville Land 27 February 36
1840 Second dash to the South Pole 1 January 38
Discovery of Adélie Land etc. January 21 38-40
Dumont d'Urville's third visit to New Zealand 7 March-8 May 40
Return to Toulon 7 November 43
Dumont d'Urville promoted to the rank of Rear-Admiral December
1841 Dumont d'Urville awarded the Gold Medal of the Geographical Society, Paris 43
1842 Publication of Le Voyage au Pôle Sud, Volumes I, II (Paris) 43
Death of Dumont d'Urville 8 May 45
1842-1846 Publication of Le Voyage au Pôle Sud, Volumes III-X (Paris)
1848 Abdication of Louis-Philippe
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