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Louis-Claude de Freycinet: Carte d'une partie de la Terre De Witt (a la Nouvelle Hollande)

Map: AUNZ1995
Cartographer: Louis-Claude de Freycinet
Title: Carte d'une partie de la Terre De Witt (a la Nouvelle Hollande)
Date: 1811
Published: Paris
Width: 30 inches / 77 cm
Height: 19 inches / 49 cm
Map ref: AUNZ1995
Sketch map of Joseph Bonaparte Gulf on the northern coast of Australia near Darwin. Surveyed by Louis de Freycinet during the Baudin Expedition (1800-3). The routes of Baudin's two ships, GĂ©ographe and Casuarina are marked with their daily locations from the 12th-30th June, 1803.

The Baudin Expedition returned to Paris in 1804, though Baudin himself died of tuberculosis in Mauritius on his way home. The expedition was hailed as a great success thanks to the thousands of biological specimens collected and the extent of the coastal surveys conducted. In tribute to Napoleon Bonaparte, the expedition named many of their discoveries after members of the royal family (Joseph Bonaparte Gulf is one of the few such names to survive). These names were published on Freycinet's map of the continent, the first map to show the complete outline of Australia, in 1811.

In a curious twist, most of Freycinet's names were abandoned a decade later when it was revealed that Matthew Flinders, an English explorer, had surveyed most of the same coastline earlier in 1802-3 and had already assigned English names to the same geographic features. Flinders had been imprisoned in Mauritius by the French during his return journey to London, preventing him from publishing the account of his voyage until 1814. This means that while Freycinet's map of Australia remains the first to show the entire outline of the continent and, it is also a historical oddity, full of names which were in use for less than two decades.

[AUNZ1995] [SL]