Sunday, April 23, 2006

French settlement on Tasmania

Today according to Australian Eastern Standard Time when this item was posted

1792 Australia: While on an expedition to find Captain Jean François De La Pérouse, who had vanished after departing Botany Bay on March 10, 1788, French admiral, Joseph-Antoine Raymond de Bruni d’Entrecasteaux (1739 - 1793) and crew set foot on Tasmania.

The mission was also fitted out with scientific instruments, and accompanied by a selection of some of France’s finest scientists, and was in fact the largest and best-equipped scientific expedition dispatched from France in the 18th century. Aboard were botanists, hydrographers, astronomers, artists – even a gardener, who left his mark on the island.

Two landfalls were made on the Tasmanian coast at Recherche Bay – in April, 1792 for 26 days, and again in January, 1793 for 24 days. Records show that the French and Australians enjoyed each other's company in very respectful ways, which was not altogether usual in the annals of European colonisation. The French entertained the locals with music, including the performance of excerpts from a popular opera of the day ...

He was a she
In the ship’s company was a steward, Louis Girargin, aged about 38, who was in fact a woman disguised as a man – the first European woman in Tasmania. Her name was Marie Louise Victoire Girgarin ...

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