Autograph letter signed, to an unknown correspondent.

Aboard the Artemise in Toulon: 10 April, 1836.

Single sheet folded to form 4 pp., small octavo, neat manuscript in ink on both sides of first leaf, second leaf blank except for filing note.

The commander aboard the Artémise

Written by the Pacific explorer Laplace in Toulon aboard his second command, the Artémise, before her departure for the Pacific and her important visit to Hawaii. The letter discusses, in his neat small hand, various aspects of naval life during the preparations for the forthcoming voyage.

Written by the Pacific explorer Laplace in Toulon aboard his second command, the Artémise, before her departure for the Pacific and her important visit to Hawaii. The letter discusses, in his neat small hand, various aspects of naval life during the preparations for the forthcoming voyage.

In another letter sold by ourselves in a recent catalogue, writing six months earlier Laplace had excused his poor correspondence by saying that he would take off for 'a little trip in the Artémise… on Sunday or Monday'. This 'little trip' must have been a proving voyage for the Artémise which would not actually depart until early in 1837.

Laplace's two voyages (first in the Favorite) had a great effect on French trade and influence in Indo-China and the Pacific. The Artémise voyage was especially significant for establishing a French presence in Hawaii and led to the so-called "Laplace affair" (an excellent account is given by Mary Ellen Birkett, The French Perspective on the Laplace Affair, in "Hawaiian Journal of History", vol.32, 1998, pp. 67-99). Essentially Laplace forced the royal Edict of Toleration to reverse the earlier intolerance and dismissal of Catholic missionaries. Laplace's two voyages were not simple voyages of exploration or science: for example in New Zealand he had been involved in events leading up to the Treaty of Waitangi while in California his visit to Fort Ross gave much-needed perspective on the activities of the Russian outpost there.

Price (AUD): $950.00  other currencies     Ref: #4208069

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