Abel Aubert Dupetit-Thouars ( 1793 - 1864)

Dupetit-Thouars was a French naval officer. His uncle Aristide Aubert du Petit-Thouars was one of the heroes of the Battle of the Nile. He joined the French Navy in 1804, where he was a cabin boy in the Boulogne fleet. He was the captain of the Inconstant from 1823 to 1825 and sailed her to Brazil. He was promoted to Commander in 1824. He was later put in charge of the Southern Seas command, in the Pacific Ocean. In 1834 he played a key role in protecting French shipping interests against the Peruvians. Meeting with Hawaiians in July 1837 He became “Capitaine de vaisseau” on 6 January 1834, and accomplished a circumnavigation between 1836 and 1839 on the frigate Vénus. During this voyage the Marquesa’s were explored. He published an account in 1840 with the title Voyage autour du monde sur la frégate la Vénus. In 1841 he was made Rear-Admiral in charge of the Pacific Naval Division. His mission was to take possession of the Marquesas Islands. In Tahiti, he confronted Queen Pōmare IV, and the English missionary and Consul George Pritchard (1796–1883). He managed to expel Pritchard and established a French protectorate over Tahiti. He was initially denounced for his actions by the French government, which feared a conflict with Great Britain. Relations between France and Great Britain soured considerably during the reign of Louis-Philippe, due to this so-called “Pritchard Affair”.

Du Petit-Thouars became a Vice-Admiral in 1846.

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