An archive group of three original manuscripts concerning Tasmania. DUMONT D'URVILLE, François BARLATIER-DEMAS.

An archive group of three original manuscripts concerning Tasmania.

An archive group of three original manuscripts concerning Tasmania.

Paris: c.1845.

Three manuscripts, variously 4pp., 1½pp and 2pp., folio (approx. 365 x 225 mm); loose leaves in custom-made morocco box lettered "Dumont d'Urville. Tasmanie: Voyage de l'Astrolabe. Manuscrit autographe"

Original descriptions of Tasmania by a member of the Dumont d'Urville expedition

Rare and important original manuscript source for the descriptions of Tasmania in Dumont d'Urville's Voyage au Pôle Sud et dans l'Oceanie. These documents were used in the preparation of Volume 9 of the Historique part of the full account of the voyage, published by Gide in 1846. The descriptions date from Barlatier-Demas' enforced two-month stay in Tasmania recovering from sickness ashore during the expedition's second visit to Antartica.

Rare and important original manuscript source for the descriptions of Tasmania in Dumont d'Urville's Voyage au Pôle Sud et dans l'Oceanie. These documents were used in the preparation of Volume 9 of the Historique part of the full account of the voyage, published by Gide in 1846. The descriptions date from Barlatier-Demas' enforced two-month stay in Tasmania recovering from sickness ashore during the expedition's second visit to Antartica.

The first manuscript, entitled "Tasmania - Hobart-town", runs to 4 pages, with erasures and autograph corrections by Barlatier-Demas. It is divided into two parts: "Antecedents", which traces the history of the island since its first discovery by Tasman in 1642 up to the exploration of the "Terre de Diemen" by the Baudin expedition, followed by the decision of the English to settle there in 1803. The second part entitled "Fondation de la Colonie" describes the first attempt at settlement in Risdon, soon abandoned in 1804 in favour of the new location on which would be built the city of Hobart.

Barlatier-Demas gives a description of the new city: public buildings, warehouses, arsenal, offices of the maritime administration, barracks... and notes that its rapid development has resulted from its proximity to a good anchorage and the arrival of new immigrants. Then he goes through the main cities of Tasmania: Lanceston, Richmond, New Norfolk, Elisabeth-town, Port Arthur, etc. This part corresponds, with some slight variations, to pages 34 to 40 of chapter LXIII in volume 9 of the Historique section of the voyage publication.

The second document, comprising 1½ pp., is untitled. It deals with the wages of seafarers who take part in fishing expeditions. Their remuneration is inadequate, except for the captain and the officers, and the organization of the crews, which comprise a few seamen skilled enough to carry out the necessary manoeuvres plus a large number of unskilled and unqualified sailors, allows the shipowners to make significant profits. In addition, the author notes that in Hobart-town there are more than 60 deserter sailors, and that some captains distribute food of very poor quality. This passage is found, without change, on pp. 68-69 of the same volume.

The last manuscript is entitled "Port Arthur". Composed of 2 pp. in the autograph of Barlatier-Demas, with some erasures and corrections, it deals with the prison colony and its 700 to 800 detainees who, for the most part, were deported from England for the most serious crimes. Barlatier-Demas describes terrible punishments with the lash: "Je me trouvais par hasard dans la cour de la prison au moment où on allait fustiger un convict que l'on venait de reprendre dans les bols après une évasion de plusieurs jours; il était condamné à recevoir quatre-vingt dix coups sur les reins. L'exécuteur armé du formidable cat, fouet à neuf branches grosses comme des lignes d'amarrage, frappait à tour de bras, chaque branche laissait sur les chairs un sanglant sillon [...]. Cet homme supportait cette cruelle douleur sans pousser un cri, seulement à chaque coup tout son corps se tordait et les muscles de sa figure se contractaient d'une manière hideuse.." ("I found myself by chance in the prison yard at the moment when a convict was about to be punished: he had just been recaptured in the bush after escaping several days earlier. He was sentenced to ninety strokes on the back. The executioner, armed with the formidable "cat", a whip with nine strands each as thick as a mooring line, struck with every turn, each strand left a bloody welt on his flesh. The man bore this cruel pain without uttering a cry, only at each blow his whole body was writhing and the muscles of his face contracted in a hideous manner"). He observes that escapes are rare in Tasmania and especially so in Port Arthur. He cites, however, some examples of famous escapes, such as that of Michael Howe, deported in 1812 and who, once escaped, lived nearly six years in the bush before being discovered and killed on the spot, or that of a man named Brady, denounced by his companion for a reward, and who managed to seize the rifle of his guardian. This part corresponds to pages 82 to 85 of chapter LXIII of volume 9 of the Historique section of the voyage.

A former pupil of the Ecole navale, François Edmond Eugène Barlatier-Demas (1810-1888) became a lieutenant in 1837, before embarking on the corvette Astrolabe, sailing along with the Zélée under the command of Dumont d'Urville on his second voyage. These two ships would complete one of the most important circumnavigations of the nineteenth century. Leaving Toulon in September 1837, the expedition passed through the Strait of Magellan, reached the edge of the Antarctic and explored the South Shetland Islands, explored in the Pacific, passing by way of Tahiti, and then anchored in Hobart to treat the crew by then ravaged with scurvy and dysentery. Barlatier-Demas, himself suffering from dysentery, was forced to remain ashore during the expedition's return to the Antarctic in January and February 1840. Cured by his two-month stay in Tasmania, he resumed his place aboard and finished the expedition which returned to Toulon in November. In March 1838 Dumont d'Urville had named the Demas Rocks for him, a group of rocks off the northwest coast of Trinity Peninsula, Antarctica in the approach to Huon Bay.

After a command of his own, Barlatier-Demas stayed in Paris to take his part in writing the narrative of the expedition. Promoted capitaine de frégate in 1852, he was given the command of the Iceland naval station, subsequently becoming commissaire impérial in Cherbourg. During his time in the South Seas, he had collected a large amount of tribal art objects that are now in the Musée des beaux-arts at Dunkirk.

http://ecole.nav.traditions.free.fr/officiers_barlatier_francois.htm.

Price (AUD): $45,000.00  other currencies Ref: #4504809

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