1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Freycinet, Louis Claude Desaulses de

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1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 11
Freycinet, Louis Claude Desaulses de
See also Louis de Freycinet on Wikipedia; and our 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica disclaimer.

FREYCINET, LOUIS CLAUDE DESAULSES DE (1779–1842), French navigator, was born at Montélimar, Drôme, on the 7th of August 1779. In 1793 he entered the French navy. After taking part in several engagements against the British, he joined in 1800, along with his brother Louis Henri de Freycinet (1777–1840), who afterwards rose to the rank of admiral, the expedition sent out under Captain Baudin in the “Naturaliste” and “Géographe” to explore the south and south-west coasts of Australia. Much of the ground already gone over by Flinders was revisited, and new names imposed by this expedition, which claimed credit for discoveries really made by the English navigator. An inlet on the coast of Western Australia, in 26º S., is called Freycinet Estuary; and a cape near the extreme south-west of the same coast also bears the explorer's name. In 1805 he returned to Paris, and was entrusted by the government with the work of preparing the maps and plans of the expedition; he also completed the narrative, and the whole work appeared under the title of Voyage de découvertes aux terres australes (Paris, 1807–1816). In 1817 he commanded the “Uranie,” in which Arago and others went to Rio de Janeiro, to take a series of pendulum measurements. This was only part of a larger scheme for obtaining observations, not only in geography and ethnology, but in astronomy, terrestrial magnetism, and meteorology, and for the collection of specimens in natural history. On this expedition the hydrographic operations were conducted by Louis Isidore Duperry (1786–1865) who in 1822 was appointed to the command of the “Coquille,” and during the next three years carried out scientific explorations in the southern Pacific and along the coast of South America. For three years Freycinet cruised about, visiting Australia, the Marianne, Sandwich, and other Pacific islands, South America, and other places, and, notwithstanding the loss of the “Uranie” on the Falkland Islands during the return voyage, returned to France with fine collections in all departments of natural history, and with voluminous notes and drawings which form an important contribution to a knowledge of the countries visited. The results of this voyage were published under Freycinet's supervision, with the title of Voyage autour du monde sur les corvettes de “l'Uranie” et "la Physicienne" in 1824–1844, in 13 quarto volumes and 4 folio volumes of fine plates and maps. Freycinet was admitted into the French Academy of Sciences in 1825, and was one of the founders of the Paris Geographical Society. He died at Freycinet, Drôme, on the 18th of August 1842.