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La Perouse, Jean Francois

( Military explorer)

Comments for La Perouse, Jean Francois
Biography La Perouse, Jean Francois
(1741-1788)
Twenty-sixth in January 1788 in Botany Bay includes two French frigates 'Bussol' and 'Astrolabe'. They commanded the famous explorer La Perouse, who for several years now in a difficult voyage around the world. And just prior to this beautiful bay on the south-east of New Holland anchored British ships of the squadron who had delivered the first batch of prisoners for the future of the colony of convicts - New South Wales (cm. essay 'foundation of Australia, or escapees from Botany Bay').

Soon after a meeting with Commander La Perouse British fleet Arthur Phillip. And though he knew that the French captain had recently taken an active part in the war against Britain, it has not prevented a friendly conversation two sailors. Highly energetic, with pleasant features and slightly sad eyes, La Perouse was fascinated by Phillip. He excitedly told the Englishman about his adventures in the Pacific and with undisguised sadness told of their loss. Upon learning that one of the British ships would soon be sent home, La Perouse gave Phillip letters to relatives and friends, as well as a report to the French Government. After six weeks 'Bussol' and 'Astrolabe' in full sail streamed into the open sea to meet his fate. More to nobody has ever seen. Only 40 years later in Europe became aware of the tragedy on the island Vanikoro.

Jean Francois de Galo Comte de La Perouse was born on the estate near the ancient town Guo Albi in southern France. Primary education he received at the Jesuit. 15-year-old Jean-Francois parents gave the school cadets in Brest, where dedicated and inquisitive young man he studied astronomy, mathematics, science, navigation, and also read a lot about sea travel.

. Europe was the Seven Years' War, and the future sailor followed closely the successes and defeats of the French fleet
. He had a chance to take part in hostilities. In the battle of Belle-Ile off the southern coast of France in 1759 (he was only 18 years old) he was seriously ra-nen. He found himself a prisoner of the British, escaped and then fought against them.

After the war, La Perouse was conferred the rank of lieutenant. Soon he had command of the ship. Several years Captain La Perouse sailed in the Indian Ocean, protecting the French trading posts in the East, fought against the pirates. On the island of Ile-de-France (Mauritius), he fell in love with the charming Creole, the daughter of a simple servant, and made her an offer. This 'crazy' act provoked the wrath of Victor Joseph, the father of La Perouse. How could Jean-Francois, an aristocrat, and link the fate of Bezrodnaya girl, moreover, without any dowry! And yet she became his wife, however, after the death of the old count.

. In 1782 La Perouse was given a responsible and dangerous mission: infiltrate unnoticed in Hudson Bay, to destroy the English trading posts and military forts destroy
. Without accurate maps, in difficult weather conditions, La Perouse brilliantly done the case before it, showing the nobility is that immediately became famous in France and in England. Captured by the British he released to freedom with weapons, supplied with food, returned them to secret maps the north coast of America, but with the proviso that they be published.

. In the second half of XVIII century France jealously watched the British successes, discover new lands in the Pacific
. Lost in previous wars, the major overseas colonies, it sought to acquire new. Louis XVI has read all the reports of James Cook, published in London. Realizing the importance of the scientific expeditions of the English navigator, . King in 1778 signed a special decree: in the case of military action against the British captains of French ships, . encountered in its path Ships Cook, . were obliged to 'refrain from hostility' and consider it as representative of the 'neutral or friendly country'.,

. Louis XVI dreamed of such an expedition, which surpass the success of all travel Cook and again raise the prestige of France
. He drew the drafting of the best scientists, he went deeply into its every detail, making clarifications and corrections. Mariners were to examine the Pacific coast of North America and Asia, . find a northern passage to the Atlantic Ocean, . open and add new lands to the Crown Dependencies and, . Finally, . identify opportunities for trade with distant countries,
. The head of the expedition was named Jean Francois de La Perouse.

. Given the experience Cook, La Perouse chose two matching cargo ship (draft) with a displacement of 500 tons, which he called 'Bussol' and 'Astrolabe', as if to emphasize the scientific nature of the forthcoming voyage
. At the insistence of the captain of La Perouse 'Astrolabe' was appointed to his old war comrade Fleur de Langley. It was really a scientific expedition in that it consisted of academics, astronomers Monge and ?+- Dezhele, Bernize geographer, botanist, doctor of medicine de la Martiniere, a physicist Lamenon naturalist Dufresne, whom he recommended the great Buffon. The ships were loaded scientific instruments and a library. Only the purchase of books left a considerable sum - six thousand livres.

Early in the morning of August 1, 1785 'Bussol' and 'Astrolabe' with 242 crew members on board went out into the open sea. Safely rounding Cape Horn, La Perouse in February next year already sailed along the Chilean coast. In the port of Concepcion, he replenished the supplies of food and drinking water.

La Perouse could not attend the open in 1722 the Dutch navigator Roggevenom mysterious Easter Island. On its rocky, covered with sparse grass land lived in those days little more than two thou-sand people. Travelers met here welcome. La Perouse wrote in his diary that the natives are beautiful, go naked, paint themselves in red paint. Unarmed, but some have clubs. Began a lively exchange: for European goods islanders gave products of agriculture and chickens. However, as elsewhere in Polynesia, the natives, without embarrassment, openly dye-Do gaping things Europeans, especially the hat. One of the natives managed to pull off three-cornered near the La Perouse, who, fearing the clashes, the two-schal all who lost their hats, to give back to the ship new.

. La Perouse explored the island, ordered the measure and sketch the giant stone statues
. He rightly believed that their ancestors once built a modern islanders. Hoping to 'improve the living standards of Aborigines' he gave them a couple of pigs, goats and three sheep. Apparently, those were eaten soon after the departure of the French. By order of La Perouse, on the island were planted cabbage, carrots, beets, pumpkin. 'Bussol' and 'Astrolabe' back out to sea, heading for Hawaii. I must say that La Perouse was in no hurry to enter into possession of the French king new ground. He wondered how can the Europeans, armed with guns and bayonets, and encroach on the sacred rights of tens of thousands of their fellow creatures on earth 'policy to then land in which they have for centuries buried their ancestors'. In Hawaii La Perouse had spent a few days, and then headed north-east. At dawn on June 23 explorers sailed along the coast of Alaska. Before them rose covered with thick pine forest mountains. High in the sky rushed sv.Ili huge mountain, whose peak was covered with eternal snows. In search of convenient parking for the ships La Perouse set sail for the south.

Soon he discovered a vast and tranquil bay, not marked on the map. Return waged a narrow passage. Only the next day with the tide could enter into it, though, nearly broke on the coastal cliffs. La Perouse Bay called this 'haven of French'. Here they remained for several days, conducting a brisk trade with the locals - the Indians, who supplied travelers valuable furs.

An exceptionally wonderful dawned on July 13. Not a cloud in the sky, the bright sun, wind prevailed. The French, having decided to explore the southern side of the bay, dispatched three boats. A few hours later returned only one. Lieutenant Boutin, who came on the last boat, told the terrible story. He saw the first two boats picked up a furious, threw rocks protruding from the water and shattered. A moment later swallowed the whirlpool people. Only a miracle saved the boat butene. This tragedy shocked the La Perouse and his companions. Died young brave sailors. The oldest one was not and 33-x. In vain they searched for the body - have not found anyone. On the island in the middle of the bay was a monument to victims of misfortune. On the plate was engraved with the inscription: "In this bay was killed twenty-one brave sailor. Whoever you are, oplachte their lot with us'. At the foot of the monument buried a bottle, which put a detailed note of what happened.

From La Perouse set out along the coast to the south. In early September, he was in Monterey, the Spanish part of California, then headed to Macau - Portuguese colony on Chinese soil.

. In the spring of 1787 La Perouse had already explored the coast of East Asia, the part about which the Europeans had only a vague idea
. 'Bussol' and 'Astrolabe' slowly moved northwards. They tried to pass the Tatar Strait separating Sakhalin from the continent. No one yet knew whether the island of Sakhalin or the same part of the continent. After landing on the beach, La Perouse tried to find out from local residents - Orochi. One of them, a profound old man, drew a stick on the ground scheme-mu, of which it became clear: Sakhalin - an island. This was confirmed by a young native. He took a piece of paper La Perouse, quickly drew a pencil outline and showed signs that the French ships are heading for the se-ver, go to the open sea.

A few days 'Bussol' and 'Astrolabe' went to the north. Thick fog prevented the movement. There was a real danger strand. La Perouse had sent two boats ahead with the task to measure the depth. Soon they returned with the news that the ships will not. Although La Perouse was convinced that sailing through the strait (in the middle of the XIX century, this proves Admiral GINevelskoj, he still gave the order to turn back. Skirting the Sakhalin to the south, French navigator corrected a geographical error. On many maps of the world the Japanese island of Hokkaido and Sakhalin were shown as a single unit. Now strait that separates the two islands, named after the intrepid La Perouse.

Sixth in September 1787 'Bussol' and 'Astrolabe' anchored in a wide and comfortable Avacha Bay. Here 12 years ago, has already visited Cook. On the shore is Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, in those days, a small village a few hundred residents. Warm-hearted and cordial Russian left a lasting impression of La Perouse. They are supplied with French food, drinking water, firewood and did not take with them for a penny. Here La Perouse awaited letters from France, and among them the Minister of Marine of the order granting him the rank of admiral and commander of the rank of squadron. In honor of La Perouse was carried salute from the guns of the local battery, and a banquet. Not one hour La Perouse talked with Lieutenant Khabarov, commandant of Petropavlovsk, and Kozlov, Ugreinym, ruler of Okhotsk, who knew very well Siberia.

Thirtieth day of September La Perouse resumed swimming. On the left bank of the BartolomL de Lesseps, son of the French ambassador in St. Petersburg. He was supposed to deliver to France, collected by the expedition of the rich materials and letters. In one of them, addressed to the Minister of Marine de Castries, La Perouse, wrote: 'I am sure that there has never been rendered more hospitality than we'. Lesseps exactly follow the instructions given La Perouse. He is more than a year to travel to Paris, the only surviving member of the fatal voyage.

A La Perouse waited another tragedy. In December 1787 on the island of Mauna (the Samoan archipelago) suddenly attacked the natives stoned to death Captain 'Astrolabe' and another 32 French. La Perouse mourned the death of their comrades. Great was his disappointment. 'We were mistaken, - he wrote. - This is a beautiful place was not infallible garden of innocence '.

Soon after he arrived in Botany Bay. Next intended to explore some islands of Oceania, the northern part of Australia, New Guinea, and then cross the Indian Ocean and get to the Ile-de-France (Mauritius).

. Vain relatives and friends in France with the hope of waiting for news of fearless navigators
. They come. Agitated and Louis XVI. Meanwhile, the revolution broke out in the country. Louis XVI lost his throne, and soon the head. They said that when the French king ascended the scaffold, the first thing he asked the executioner: 'Are there any news of La Perouse? "

. In 1791, the National Assembly decided to send to the Pacific Ocean in search of La Perouse's two ships disappeared, who bore symbolic names 'Search' and 'Hope'
. They were led by Antoine Raymond Joseph de Bruno d'Antrkastro. The following spring, they saw far ahead a small island, not marked on the map. D'Antrkastro christened it in honor of the ship - Search, but for some unknown reason not approached him. Doing so, he would have found a clue to the disappearance of the expedition of La Perouse. This was the island Vanikoro.

In 1826 the English captain, Peter Dillon, found on the island Vanikoro traces 'Bussol' and 'Astrolabe'. Questioning of local residents gave little. It found only that a few decades ago here during the terrible storm broke on the reefs of two vessels. Some of the sailors escaped and found refuge on the island. Someone was soon killed Aborigines, others rigged the boat floated somewhere over the horizon. Was among them La Perouse - unknown. Soon the island Vanikoro visited the famous navigator CLsar Dumont D'Urville. He also found there are some real evidence of the collapse of the ships of La Perouse.

From 1959 to 1964 in these places been known Belgian volcanologist Haroun Tazieff. With a group of divers, he picked up from the bottom of the sea remains 'Bussol' and 'Astrolabe'. Among the finds turned out to be an old Russian coins with the image of Peter I - the memory of La Perouse stay off the coast of Kamchatka.


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