Item #5000502 "De la Baie Botanique,a la Nouvelle Hollande, le 4 Fevrier 1788" [in] "Journal Politique de Bruxelles" section of the "Mercure de France" LA PEROUSE, MERCURE DE FRANCE.
"De la Baie Botanique,a la Nouvelle Hollande, le 4 Fevrier 1788" [in] "Journal Politique de Bruxelles" section of the "Mercure de France".

"De la Baie Botanique,a la Nouvelle Hollande, le 4 Fevrier 1788"…
"De la Baie Botanique,a la Nouvelle Hollande, le 4 Fevrier 1788" [in] "Journal Politique de Bruxelles" section of the "Mercure de France".

Paris: 23 May, 1789.

Duodecimo volume containing a group of journals for the latter half of 1789; very good and fresh in early quarter calf over marbled boards.

Last words from the La Pérouse expedition

Significant printed letter from the La Pérouse expedition in Botany Bay, published on the continent in mid-1789: this text was the chief semi-official notice of the expedition, and is taken from the French expedition's papers that were carried to Europe by John Shortland in the Alexander. It appears here in an issue of the Journal Politique de Bruxelles for 20 June 1789, which is contained in a volume of issues of the Mercure de France for summer 1789 (the two titles, jointly issued at this time, were in effect semi-official publications with government-appointed editors).

Significant printed letter from the La Pérouse expedition in Botany Bay, published on the continent in mid-1789: this text was the chief semi-official notice of the expedition, and is taken from the French expedition's papers that were carried to Europe by John Shortland in the Alexander. It appears here in an issue of the Journal Politique de Bruxelles for 20 June 1789, which is contained in a volume of issues of the Mercure de France for summer 1789 (the two titles, jointly issued at this time, were in effect semi-official publications with government-appointed editors).

The letter, dated 2 February 1788, which is printed on pp. 131-134 of the volume, announces that they have arrived in Botany Bay just two days after an English fleet, which is attempting to establish a new colony at the "antipodes" of London ('deux jours de différence, avec une flotte Angloise, qui vient y établir une Colonie. 800 malfaiteurs, 400 femmes criminelles, et 2 à 300 honnêtes gens y ont arboré pavillon Anglois, et établi presqu'aux Antipodes de London un nouvel Etat'). The rest of the letter details their voyage since Kamchatka (where de Lesseps had been sent back to France overland, and thus their last point of contact), with particular notes on the massacre of de Langle and twelve of the crew at Manu'a in Samoa. The Samoans are, La Pérouse writes, the most beautiful people in the universe ('des plus beaux homes de l'univers'), but he has the melancholy duty of reporting the deaths, also noting the injuries to Père Receveur and the trepanning of a major on board. Importantly, the letter concludes with details of their planned route north to Timor, the details of which formed the basis for the d'Entrecasteaux voyage.

Of equal interest is a lengthy note in the next issue of the Mercure (27 June 1789, p.154 of the Journal Politique section) on the death and burial of Père Receveur at Botany Bay. The piece gives the bare details of Receveur's death and prints a version of the famous epitaph, the exact wording of which is still debated (see Duyker, Père Receveur, Dharawhal Publications, 2001).

Price (AUD): $725.00

US$489.18   Other currencies

Ref: #5000502