Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Louis Feuillet

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Geographer, b. at Mane near Forcalquier, France, in 1660; d. at Marseilles in 1732. He entered the Franciscan Order and made rapid progress in his studies, particularly in mathematics and astronomy. He attracted the attention of members of the Academy of Sciences and in 1699 was sent by order of the king on a voyage to the Levant with Cassini to determine the geographical positions of a number of seaports and other cities. The success of the undertaking led him to make a similar journey to the Antilles. He left Marseilles, 5 Feb., 1703, and arrived at Martinique 11 April. A severe sickness was the cause of considerable delay, but in September of the following year he began a cruise along the northern coast of South America, making observations at numerous ports. He likewise collected a number of botanical specimens. Upon his return to France in 1706, his work won recognition from the Government, and he immediately began preparations for a more extended voyage along the western coast of South America to continue his observations. He received the title of royal mathematician, and armed with letters from the ministry set sail from Marseilles, 14 Dec., 1707. He rounded Cape Horn after a tempestuous voyage and visited the principal western ports as far north as Callao. At Lima he spent several months studying the region. He returned to France in 1711, bringing with him much valuable data and a collection of botanical specimens. Louis XIV granted him a pension and built an observatory for him at Marseilles. Feuillet was of a gentle and simple character, and while an enthusiastic explorer, was also a true ecclesiastic. He was the author of "Journal des observations physiques, mathématiques, et botaniques" (Paris, 1714); "Suite du Journal" (Paris, 1725).