Original manuscript from the voyage of Uranie

28 January 1818. Rio de Janeiro Harbour.

Original manuscript document from the voyage of the Uranie, signed by all the officers, midshipmen and medics on board.

Folio, single leaf written on one side only, 170mm x 235mm, in fine condition; archive stamp. Signatures of all the officers, midshipmen and medics on Uranie, acknowledging their understanding of Freycinet’s instructions regarding the business of scientific observation and information gathering on the voyage.

Signed by (from top left):

  • Jérôme Frédéric Perrette Lamarche, second in command
  • Jean Jacques Nicolas Labiche, second lieutenant
  • Clair Leonard Theodore Laborde, ensign
  • Jacques Etienne Victor Arago, artist
  • Jean René Constant Quoy, ship’s surgeon
  • Théodore Fabré, midshipman
  • H. Requin, commis aux revues
  • Louis Isidore Duperrey, ensign
  • Florentin Louis Quelen (Quélen) de la Villeglée (Villeglaye), chaplain
  • Joseph Alfonse Pellion, “gunner” (actually artist)
  • Auguste Bérard, midshipman
  • Du Baur, midshipman
  • Gaimard, assistant surgeon and naturalist
  • CH. J Ferrand Gaudichaud / Charles Gaudichaud Beaupré, botanist
  • N.F. Gurin, midshipman
  • L. Railliard, midshipman

SKU SF000670 Category


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Description

Single manuscript with the signatures of every officer on board Uranie. The survival of this official record is due to the unusual collecting and keeping habits of the commander of the voyage, Louis de Freycinet.

This piece of paper remained, with others relating to the progress and subsequent publication of the Uranie voyage, in the Freycinet family archive until very recent times. While the document shows Freycinet at his most precise, indeed what might today be called micro managing where one might expect delegation, it is that very mindset that made his voyage and its ultimate publication extraordinarily important, and such attention to detail was the hallmark of his illustrious career as a naval hydrographer and chart maker. It is also the very mentality that caused this manuscript to survive, for it is well known that most other officers either kept such documents with the official logs given to the Ministre de la Marine (for the English, the Admiralty), or simply discarded them once the moment was past.

The document is written in Freycinet’s own hand, not by his clerk Gabert as would have been more usual. It reads: “Les officiers militaires et civiles, El ves de la Marine et aides chirurgiens, embarqus sur la Corvette l’URANIE, ont reu un Tableau des observations et des recherches faire pendant la Campagne, qui leur a t adress par Mr Le Commandant de la dite Corvette. Rio Janeiro le 28 Octobre 1818”.

Additional information
Date

1818

Author/Maker

Louise Claude de Saulces de Freycinet

Material

Ink (iron gall ink), Paper