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Louis de Freycinet

Note that this entry should not to be confused with Charles Louis de Saulces de Freycinet (1828-1923), French Prime Minister

Louis Claude de Saulses de Freycinet, (August 7, 1779 - August 18, 1842) was a French navigator. He was born at Montlimart, Drme.

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 (?-1840), who afterwards rose to the rank of admiral), an expedition to explore the south and south-west coasts of Australia. It set out under Nicolas Baudin in the ships "Naturaliste" and "Geographe" . Much of the ground already gone over by Matthew 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 26 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 dcouvertes 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 as well as 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.

For three years Freycinet cruised about, visiting Australia, the Marianne, Sandwich, and other Pacific islands, South America, and other places, and, not withstanding 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 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, Drme.

This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica.