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The first published map of the Investigator Group of Islands in South Australia, from the epic account of Nicholas Baudin’s voyage of exploration in the French frigates, the Naturalist, Geographe and Casuarina. The archipelago consists of Flinders Island and five island … Read Full Description
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The first published map of the Investigator Group of Islands in South Australia, from the epic account of Nicholas Baudin’s voyage of exploration in the French frigates, the Naturalist, Geographe and Casuarina.
The archipelago consists of Flinders Island and five island groups located off the western coast of the Eyre Peninsula. It is named after HMS Investigator by her commander, Matthew Flinders when he explored the area in 1802. The Group lies within the Great Australian Bight. All the islands except Flinders Island, and a part of Pearson Island, are within the Investigator Group Wilderness Protection Area and the Waldegrave Islands Conservation Park.
From Peron, Voyage de Decouvertes Aux Terres Australes. Paris
In October 1800, Nicolas Baudin commanded an expedition to the south seas to complete the French survey of the Australian coastline, and make scientific observations. The two ships, Le Geographe and Le Naturaliste, arrived near Cape Leeuwin in May 1801. Following instructions issued in France, both ships sailed north along the western coast of the continent. After staying at Timor, the French then sailed south to survey Van Diemen’s Land [Tasmania]. In following this itinerary, they missed the opportunity to be the first Europeans to survey the unknown southern coast. By early April 1802 Baudin in Le Geographe was in South Australian waters. He sailed westwards along the southern coastline, meeting Flinders at Encounter Bay, and continuing to Golfe de la Mauvaise [Gulf St Vincent] and Golfe de la Melomanie [Spencer Gulf], giving French names to many locations already named by Flinders. At Cape Adieu the survey was abandoned and Baudin sailed for Port Jackson where Le Naturaliste had already arrived. After wintering at Port Jackson, Baudin returned to the southern coast for a more detailed survey, and in January 1803 circumnavigated Ile Borda [Kangaroo Island]. While Baudin anchored at Nepean Bay, Freycinet and the geographer Boullanger explored the two gulfs in Casuarina – Le Naturaliste had been sent back to France with its scientific collections. By the end of February Le Geographe and Casuarina rendezvoused at King George Sound, and then explored the west and northwest coasts of ‘New Holland’, before heading home via Timor.
Baudin died in 1803 on the homeward voyage, so publication of the account and charts of his voyage was undertaken by Francois Peron, the expedition’s naturalist. The first volume of Voyage de decouvertes aux Terres Australes and Volume I of Atlas, which included the plates, was released in 1807. French place names were recorded for ‘Terre Napoleon’ west of Wilson’s Promontory. As Peron died in 1810, cartographer Louis de Freycinet continued to edit the voyage’s account, and in 1811 he published the second part of the Atlas, which featured folio sized charts of the expedition, again recording French place names on ‘Terre Napoleon.’
From Peron, Voyage de decouvertes aux terres australes, execute sur les corvettes le Geographe, le Naturaliste et la goelette le Casuarina, pendant les annees 1800, 1801, 1802, 1803 et 1804 … Paris.
Dunmore, J. French Explorers in the Pacific. Oxford 1965-69 : vol. II, pp. 9-40
Ferguson, J. A. Bibliography of Australia Volumes 1-8, Canberra 1976 : 449
Hill, J. The Hill Collection of Pacific Voyages. San Diego 1974 : 1329
Perry, T. & Prescott, D. A Guide to Maps of Australia in Books Published 1780-1830. Canberra 1996: 1811.16
Sharp, A. The Discovery of Australia. Oxford 1963 : pp. 232-39
Tooley, R. The Mapping of Australia. London 1979: 617
Wantrup, J. Australian Rare Books. Sydney 1987 : pp. 153-159, [78a-81]
Australian National University: 154258130
Bibliotheque Nationale de France: ark:/12148/bpt6k74602q
National Library Australia: Bib ID 87123
Power House Museum: 220290870
State Library New South Wales: 1807-1817 MRB/F980
State Library South Australia: 919.4 P453.2 b
State Library Victoria: RARELTBF 919.4 P42V
State Library Western Australia: 4987B Vol. 147
Henri Louis Freycinet (1777 - 1840)
Freycinet was in command of the Uranie 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.
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