Autograph letter signed to his brother Henri de Freycinet. Louis Claude de Saulces de FREYCINET.

Autograph letter signed to Henri de Freycinet.
Autograph letter signed to his brother Henri de Freycinet.

Paris: 11 December, 1815.

Autograph letter, on a sheet of laid paper, 230 x 185 mm; archive stamp, in excellent condition.

A good letter from Louis de Freycinet to his brother Henri, touching on two themes that would be constant throughout their careers: professional advancement within the Navy and, especially for Louis, getting their printed work in front of the most influential people. Emperor Alexander I of Russia was very much the right people to be showing his work: his reign (1801-1825) was the great era of Russian maritime exploration, and Freycinet corresponded with several of the Russians who explored on his watch, including Krusenstern, Lisiansky and Kotzebue.

A good letter from Louis de Freycinet to his brother Henri, touching on two themes that would be constant throughout their careers: professional advancement within the Navy and, especially for Louis, getting their printed work in front of the most influential people. Emperor Alexander I of Russia was very much the right people to be showing his work: his reign (1801-1825) was the great era of Russian maritime exploration, and Freycinet corresponded with several of the Russians who explored on his watch, including Krusenstern, Lisiansky and Kotzebue.

The date of this letter indicates that Freycinet is referring to a presentation set of the complete text and atlas volumes of the hydrographical section of the Baudin voyage, which Louis de Freycinet had written and prepared for publication and to the cartography of which both brothers had contributed very substantially.

Its publication had been completed earlier in the year; two letters from Louis to Henri written that year were described in our 2010 catalogue "Captain Louis de Freycinet" (items 33 and 34); they discussed presentation of another set of the Baudin hydrographic volumes, to the Societé des Sciences, Belles Lettres et Arts at Rochefort.

Other letters of the same period in that catalogue confirm the abiding interest of the Freycinet brothers in rank and prospects within the French navy. It is interesting here to see Louis maneuvering early access to the lists of active officers, lists that were of compelling interest to every naval officer with an interest in his own career.

In other details Louis de Freycinet is referring to Henri and Clementine's newly-born daughter, to Clementine's father Captain Bérar, also a serving officer, and to his own wife who was of course Rose de Freycinet the famous circumnavigatrix.

Text

"Paris 11 December 1815

"I have just a moment to let you know, my dear and good friend, that both you and I have been kept on the active list of Naval Officers. I couldn't even tell whether the same is true of Captain Bérar, your father-in-law, since the lists have not yet been made public while the person who told me what I'm passing on to you, not knowing Mr. Bérar personally, would not have been aware of his name.

"I'm rushing off to the Russian Ambassador who is going to take care of getting my book to His Majesty Alexander [the Russian Emperor Alexander I]; that's why I'm in such a hurry. Farewell, my friend, to you & your amiable companion, my respectful compliments to M. and Mme. Bérar. Yours truly, your good friend, L. De Freycinet

"Give me news of yourself, and especially that of my sister and her dear infant. My wife embraces you".

(Paris 11 Dbre. 1815. Je n'ai qu'un instant pour t'annoncer, mon cher et bon ami, que toi et moi sommes conservés sur la liste d'activité des officiers de la Marine. Je n'ai pu savoir de même si M. le Capne Bérar ton Beau père était dans le même cas, parce que les listes ne sont pas encore publiques et que la personne qui m'a affirmée le fait que je t'annonce ne connaissant pas Mr. Bérar n'a pas retenu son nom. Je course chez l'Ambassadeur de Russie qui veut bien se charger de faire parvenir mon ouvrage à S. M. Alexandre; c'est par cette raison que je suis si pressé. Adieu, mon ami, pour toi & ton aimable compagne, mes respectueux compliments à M. et à Mme. Bérar. Tout à toi de cœur, ton bon ami, L. De Freycinet. Donne-moi de tes nouvelles, et surtout de celle de ma sœur et de son cher nourrisson. Ma femme t'embrasse.)

Provenance: Freycinet family archives at the Château d'Age, with the red "Archives de Laage" stamp; private collection (Sydney).

Price (AUD): $9,000.00

US$6,433.62   Other currencies

Ref: #5000278