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This is the rare updated version of Freycinet’s seminal map of Australia which was first issued in 1807 in a larger format in the accounts of the French voyage of exploration under the command of Nicholas Baudin. Freycinet was the … Read Full Description
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This is the rare updated version of Freycinet’s seminal map of Australia which was first issued in 1807 in a larger format in the accounts of the French voyage of exploration under the command of Nicholas Baudin. Freycinet was the cartographer for the expedition and his map of Australia was the first to show a complete coastline of the continent and predated Matthews Flinders’s chart which was published in 1814, due to his imprisonment on the island of Mauritius by the French. In this version Freycinet removes the nationalistic and ambitious naming of Terre Napoléon and imperial French names for many parts of the coast, and replaces them with the accepted British names reflecting the political reality of British occupation.
This map is dated 1808 on the plate but in fact was published in the second and much rarer edition of the Baudin Voyage after his return on his voyage, Voyage Autour du Monde Fait par Ordre du Roi, sur les Corvettes de S.M. L’Uranie et la Physicienne, pendant les annees 1817, 1818, 1819 et 1820. Paris 1824. Freycinet’s t uses Matthew Flinders place names for the features he named, replacing the French names on his earlier 1807 map, while retaining the original French names for places not named by Flinders. As Professor Leslie Marchant states, ‘The charge that Freycinet had plagiarised Flinders’ charts is certainly unfounded for he was a thoroughly capable cartographer’.
After setting sail in October 1800, Baudin sighted Cape Leeuwin on 27 April 1801 and three days later, Geographe Bay. He then sailed north in the Le Geographe and, after examining the coast as far as Cape Leveque, sailed on to Timor where he arrived on 21 August. Le Naturaliste, captained by Jacques Hamelin, joined the Geographe after having also explored the west coast. The two ships then left Timor to complete the survey of Australia’s southern coast, arriving off Van Diemen’s Land on 13 January 1802 and surveying the D’Entrecasteaux Channel for more than a month before sailing north towards Banks Strait. Baudin then made a survey westward from Wilson’s Promontory, naming the coast Terre Napoleon. In Encounter Bay, he crossed paths with Matthew Flinders who was undertaking his own survey of the coast. After making their way to Sydney, the Naturaliste returned to France and Baudin acquired a new ship, the Casuarina, of which Freycinet was made commander. Baudin then returned to Timor before sailing to Mauritius where he died on 16 September 1803. The Freycinet chart of Australia has the coast west of Wilson’s Promontory named ‘Terre Napoleon’ and includes place names in French, ignoring most of Flinders’s charting and attributions which were not published until 1814, as he had been imprisoned in Mauritius for six years.
Louis Claude de Saulces de Freycinet (1779 - 1841)
Louis de Freycinet (1779-1841) Freycinet made the published the first map to show a full outline of the coastline of Australia. He was in command of the Uranie, which left Toulon on 17 September 1817. His wife Rose had been smuggled aboard, and her presence was acknowledged by the time they reached Gibraltar. They made the usual French passage via Tenerife, Rio, the Cape of Good Hope and Mauritius, where Louis was reunited briefly with his brother Henri, then serving as the Governor. The Uranie reached Shark Bay on 12 September 1818 and spent some time there, setting up an observatory and making further thorough surveys of the inlets and coast; it was during this visit that Freycinet also finally removed the Vlamingh plate. From Western Australia they headed to Coupang in Timor, and crossed to Dili, where the expedition was received in great state by the Governor. The vessel then picked its way northeast via Amboina, Pisang, Rawak and the coast of New Guinea, reaching Guam in mid-March 1819. The expedition stayed in Guam for eleven weeks before heading to Hawaii, which was first sighted on 5 August; they anchored in Kealakekua Bay three days later. They spent an important fortnight in the islands, making stays at Lahaina and Honolulu, and meeting any number of important figures there. From Honolulu they headed towards New South Wales, passing Samoa and the Cook Islands and naming “Rose Island”, which Freycinet erroneously thought a new discovery. They anchored in Port Jackson on 18 November, and spent a busy month in the bustling town, the growth of which astonished Freycinet. All of his savants set off to make surveys, including the important group of Quoy, Pellion and Gaudichaud, who crossed the Blue Mountains. It became a hectic social visit for Louis and Rose, who were fêted by Sydney society, and who cemented friendships with local luminaries like Barron Field and William Bland. The visit confirmed Freycinet’s interest in the region, which he would later make the subject of a detailed section in his voyage account. Leaving Port Jackson on Christmas Day, Freycinet sailed around the southern coast of New Zealand, making a fast passage to Cape Horn, where boisterous weather drove him into the southern Atlantic, and he made the decision to make urgently-needed repairs to the Uranie at “French Bay” (now Berkeley Sound) on the eastern coast of the Falklands. While entering the harbour on 14 February 1820 he struck submerged rocks, compelling him to beach the vessel, which was found to be irreparably damaged. Salvaging as much as they could from the wreck, the French set about sending a longboat to Montevideo for assistance, but before they could the sealing vessel General Knox, Captain Horn, came into sight. Reluctant negotiations were begun but before an agreement was reached, another vessel the Mercury, Captain Galvin, arrived, and it was on this second vessel that a passage to Rio de Janeiro was booked. Conflict between the French and the existing passengers, a group of Chilean rebels, meant that the deal changed, and Freycinet actually purchased the Mercury and agreed to disembark Galvin and the Chileans in Montevideo. On 8 May Freycinet took command, immediately and renamed the ship the Physicienne, and it was on this vessel that the expedition returned to Le Havre on 13 November 1820, after around three years at sea. Freycinet spent the next two decades co-ordinating and writing the official narrative of the voyage.
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