Terre Napoleón; a History of French Explorations and Projects in Australia(txt+pdf+epub+mobi电子书下载)

发布时间:2021-08-03 14:44:59


作者:Scott, Ernest, Sir


Terre Napoleón; a History of French Explorations and Projects in Australia

Terre Napoleón; a History of French Explorations and Projects in Australia试读:


The main object of this book is to exhibit the facts relative to the expedition despatched to Australia by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1800 to 1804, and to consider certain opinions which have been for many years current regarding its purpose.

Until about five years ago the writer accepted without doubt the conclusions presented by leading authorities. One has to do that in regard to the vast mass of historical material, because, obviously, however much disposed one may be to form one's opinions on tested facts apart from the writings of historians, several lifetimes would not be sufficient for a man to inquire for himself as to the truth of a bare fraction of the conclusions with which research is concerned.

But it so happened that the writer was interested, for other reasons than those disclosed in the following pages, in ascertaining exactly what was done by the expedition commanded by Captain Nicolas Baudin on the coasts which were labelled Terre Napoleon. On scrutinising the facts somewhat narrowly, he was surprised to find that opinions accepted with unquestioning faith began to crumble away for lack of evidence to support them.

So much is stated by way of showing that the book has not been written to prove a conclusion formulated a priori, but with a sincere desire that the truth about the matter should be known. We read much in modern books devoted to the era of the Corsican about "the Napoleonic legend." There seems to be, just here, a little sporadic Napoleonic legend, to which vitality has been given from quarters whence have come some heavy blows at the larger one.

The plan adopted has been, after a preliminary sketch of the colonial situation of Great Britain and France in the period under review, to bring upon the scene--the Terre Napoleon coasts--the discovery ship Investigator, despatched by the British Government at about the same time as Napoleon's vessels were engaged upon their task, and to describe the meeting of the two captains, Flinders and Baudin, in Encounter Bay. Next, the coasts denominated Terre Napoleon are traversed, and an estimate is made of the original work done by Baudin, and of the serious omissions for which he was to blame. A second part of the subject is then entered upon. The origin of the expedition is traced, and the ships are carefully followed throughout their voyage, with a view to elicit whether there was, as alleged, a political purpose apart from the scientific work for which the enterprise was undertaken at the instance of the Institute of France.

The two main points which the book handles are: (1) whether Napoleon's object was to acquire territory in Australia and to found "a second fatherland" for the French there; and (2) whether it is true, as so often asserted, that the French plagiarised Flinders' charts for the purpose of constructing their own. On both these points conclusions are reached which are at variance with those commonly presented; but the evidence is placed before the reader with sufficient amplitude to enable him to arrive at a fair opinion on the facts, which, the author believes, are faithfully stated.

A third point of some importance, and which is believed to be quite new, relates to the representation of Port Phillip on the Terre Napoleon maps. It is a curious fact that, much as has been written on the early history of Australia, no writer, so far as the author is aware, has observed the marked conflict of evidence between Captain Baudin and his own officers as to that port having been seen by their discovery ships, and as to how the representation of it on the French maps got there. Inasmuch as Port Phillip is the most important harbour in the territory which was called Terre Napoleon, the matter is peculiarly interesting. Yet, although the author has consulted more than a score of volumes in which the expedition is mentioned, or its work dealt with at some length, not one of the writers has pointed out this sharp contradiction in testimony, still less attempted to account for it. It is to be feared that in the writing of Australian, as of much other history, there has been on the part of authors a considerable amount of "taking in each other's washing."

The table of comparative chronology is designed to enable the reader to see at a glance the dates of the occurrences described in the book, side by side with those of important events in the world at large. It is always an advantage, when studying a particular piece of history, to have in mind other happenings of real consequence pertaining to the period under review. Such a table should remind us of what Freeman spoke of as the "unity and indivisibility of history," if it does no more.


1602. Abel Tasman born.

1603. Death of Queen Elizabeth.

1606. Voyage of Quiros; finding and naming of Austrialia del Espiritu Santo.

1606. First charter to the Virginia Company.

1620. Pilgrim Fathers found colony of New Plymouth.

1642. Tasman's first voyage; discovery of Tasmania.

1643. Death of Louis XIII.

1644. Tasman's second voyage; exploration of northern Australia.

1649. Execution of Charles I.

1652. Birth of William Dampier.

1655. English conquest of Jamaica.

1658. Death of Oliver Cromwell.

1659. Death of Tasman.

1682. Penn founds Pennsylvania.

1683. The French found Louisiana.

1686 to 1688. Dampier's voyage in the Cygnet; anchorage in Cygnet Bay, Western Australia.

1688. Fall of the Stuart dynasty; accession of William of Orange.

1699. Dampier's voyage in the Roebuck; anchorage in Sharks Bay.

1714. Death of Queen Anne.

1728. Birth of James Cook.

1756. Birth of Nicolas Baudin. De Brosses publishes his Histoire des Navigations aux Terres Australes.

1759. Wolfe captures Quebec.

1765. Watt's invention of the steam-engine.

1766. Bougainville's voyage to the South Seas.

1768 to 1770. Cook's voyage in the Endeavour; discovery of Botany Bay, Port Jackson, and eastern Australia.

1769. Charles Decaen born.

1769. Birth of Napoleon Bonaparte.

1771. Marion-Dufresne's voyage to Tasmania and New Zealand.

1773. Boston tea riots.

1774. Matthew Flinders born.

1774. Meeting of first American Congress.

1775. Francois Péron born.

1776. Declaration of Independence.

1778 to 1779. Cook's third voyage and death.

1778. Death of Chatham.

1785 to 1788. Voyage of La Perouse; call at Port Jackson.

1788. Founding of New South Wales.

1789. Mutiny of the Bounty.

1789. Washington elected first President of United States.Fall of the Bastille.

1790. Flinders joins the Navy.

1790. Burke's Reflections on the French Revolution.

1791. Vancouver on the western Australian coast.Dentrecasteaux's voyage to Australia.Flinders sails with Bligh's second bread-fruit expedition.

1791. Passing of the Canada Act.

1795. Flinders' first voyage to Australia in the Reliance.

1795. Ceylon surrendered to the British by the Dutch.Establishment of the Institute of France.

1797. Battle of Cape St. Vincent.Battle of Camperdown.

1798. Discovery of Bass Strait and of Westernport by George Bass.Flinders and Bass circumnavigate Tasmania in the Norfolk.

1798. Battle of the Nile.Irish Rebellion.

1799. Bonaparte becomes First Consul of the French Republic.

1800. (May) Bonaparte authorises the despatch of Baudin's expedition.(October) The expedition sails.(December) Grant reaches Port Jackson in the Lady Nelson.

1800. Battle of Marengo.

1801. (May) Baudin's ships reach Australia.(July) Flinders sails from England in the Investigator.(August) Le Geographe reaches Timor.(November) Baudin's ships sail from Timor to Tasmania.(December) The Investigator reaches Australia.

1801. Battle of Copenhagen.

1802. (January) Murray discovers Port Phillip.(February) Flinders discovers Spencer's Gulf; Murray enters Port Phillip.(March) French ships separated by storm.(April) Meeting of Flinders and Baudin in Encounter Bay; Flinders enters Port Phillip.(May) Investigator reaches Port Jackson.(June) Baudin reaches Port Jackson.(July) Flinders sails for Gulf of Carpentaria.(November) French ships leave Sydney.(December) Le Naturaliste sails for Europe; the Cumberland at King Island; Robbins erects the British flag; Le Geographe and Casuarina sail for Kangaroo Island.

1802. Peace of Amiens.

1803. (January) Freycinet in Spencer's and St. Vincent's Gulfs.(June) Le Geographe again at Timor; Le Naturaliste enters Havre; Investigator returns to Port Jackson.(July) Baudin abandons exploration and sails for Mauritius.(August) Flinders wrecked in the Porpoise.Derwent River Settlement formed.(September) Death of Baudin.(December) Flinders calls at Mauritius in the Cumberland; is imprisoned.

1803. Sale of Louisiana by France to United States.Renewal of the great war.

1804. Le Geographe arrives at Lorient.Hobart Settlement formed.

1804. Napoleon becomes Emperor.

1805. Battle of Trafalgar.

1806. Napoleon signs order for release of Flinders.

1806. Death of William Pitt.

1807. Publication of first volume of Voyage de Decouvertes aux Terres Australes, with first atlas.

1810. (July) Liberation of Flinders.(October) Mauritius blockaded by the British.(December) Capitulation of Mauritius; death of Péron.

1810. Napoleon marries Marie Louise.

1811. Second part of French atlas published.

1812. Publication of Freycinet atlas of charts.

1812. The retreat from Moscow.British Naval War with U.S.A.

1814. Publication of Flinders' Voyage to Terra Australis; death of Flinders (July).

1814. Abdication of Napoleon.

1815. Publication of volume 3 of Voyage de Decouvertes.

1815. Battle of Waterloo.

1816. Publication of volume 2 of Voyage de Decouvertes, with revised map of Australia.

1821. Death of Napoleon.

1826. Westernport Settlement projected and abandoned.

1829. Foundation of Western Australia.

1832. Death of Decaen.

1832. English Reform Bill.

1835. Batman finds site of Melbourne.

1836. Foundation of South Australia.

1837. City of Melbourne founded.

1837. Accession of Queen Victoria.

1851. Colony of Victoria established.

1851. Louis Napoleon's coup d'etat.

1853. French annexation of New Caledonia.

1854. Crimean War.

1859. Colony of Queensland established.

1860. Lincoln, President of the United States.




A continent with a record of unruffled peace.Causes of this variation from the usual course of history.English and French colonisation during the Napoleonic wars.The height of the Napoleonic empire and the entire loss of the French colonies.The British colonial situation during the same period.The colony at Port Jackson in 1800.Its defencelessness.The French squadron in the Indian Ocean.Rear-Admiral Linois.The audacious exploit of Commodore Dance, and Napoleon's direction to "take Port Jackson" in 1810.

Australia is the only considerable portion of the world which has enjoyed the blessed record of unruffled peace. On every other continent, in nearly every other island large in area, "war's red ruin writ in flame" has wrought its havoc, leaving evidences in many a twinging cicatrice. Invasion, rebellion, and civil war constitute enormous elements in the chronicles of nations; and Shelley wrote that the study of history, though too important to be neglected, was "hateful and disgusting to my very soul," because he found in it little more than a "record of crimes and miseries." A map of the globe, coloured crimson as to those countries where blood has flowed in armed conflicts between men, would present a circling splash of red; but the vast island which is balanced on the Tropic of Capricorn, and spreads her bulk from the tenth parallel of south latitude to "the roaring forties," would show up white in the spacious diagram of carnage. No foreign foe has menaced her thrifty progress since the British planted themselves at Port Jackson in 1788; nor have any internal broils of serious importance interrupted her prosperous career.

This striking variation from the common fate of peoples is attributable to three causes. First, the development of a British civilisation in Australia has synchronised with the attainment and unimpaired maintenance of dominant sea-power by the parent nation. The supremacy of Great Britain upon the blue water enabled her colonies to grow to strength and wealth under the protection of a mighty arm. Secondly, during the same period a great change in British colonial policy was inaugurated. Statesmen were slow to learn the lessons taught in so trenchant a fashion by the revolt of the American colonies; but more liberal views gradually ripened, and Lord Durham's Report on the State of Canada, issued in 1839, occasioned a beneficent new era of self-government. The states of Australia were soon left with no grievance which it was not within their own power to remedy if they chose, and virtually as they chose. Thirdly, these very powers of self-government developed in the people a signal capacity for governing and being governed. The constitutional machinery submitted the Executive to popular control, and made it quickly sensitive to the public will. Authority and subjects were in sympathy, because the subjects created the authority. Further, there was no warlike native race in Australia, as there was in New Zealand and in South Africa, to necessitate armed conflict. Thus security from attack, chartered autonomy, and governing capacity, with the absence of organised pugnacious tribes, have combined to achieve the unique result of a continent preserved from aggression, disruption, or bloody strife for over one hundred and twenty years.

There was a brief period, as will presently be related, when this happy state of things was in some danger of being disturbed. It certainly would have been impossible had not Great Britain emerged victorious from her protracted struggle, first against revolutionary France, and later against Napoleon, in the latter years of the eighteenth century and the beginning of the nineteenth.

In those wars colonial possessions "became pawns in the game."* (* The phrase is Professor Egerton's, Cambridge Modern History 9 735.) There was no Imperialism then, with its strident note, its ebullient fervour and flag waving. There was no national sense of pride in colonial Empire, or general appreciation of the great potentialities of oversea possessions. "The final outcome of the great war was the colonial ascendancy of Great Britain, but such was not the conscious aim of those who carried through the struggle."* (* Ibid page 736.) Diplomacy signed away with a dash of the quill possessions which British arms had won after tough fights, anxious blockades, and long cruises full of tension and peril. Even when the end of the war saw the great Conqueror conquered and consigned to his foam-fenced prison in the South Atlantic, Great Britain gave back many of the fruits which it had cost her much, in the lives of her brave and the sufferings of her poor, to win; and Castlereagh defended this policy in the House of Commons on the curious ground that it was expedient "freely to open to France the means of peaceful occupation, and that it was not the interest of this country to make her a military and conquering, instead of a commercial and pacific nation."* (* Parliamentary Debates 28 462.)PART 2.

The events with which this book is mainly concerned occurred within the four years 1800 to 1804, during which Europe saw Bonaparte leap from the position of First Consul of the French Republic to the Imperial throne. After great French victories at Marengo, Hochstadt, and Hohenlinden (1800), and a brilliant naval triumph for the British at Copenhagen (1801), came the fragile Peace of Amiens (1802)--an "experimental peace," as Cornwallis neatly described it. Fourteen months later (May 1803) war broke out again; and this time there was almost incessant fighting on a titanic scale, by land and sea, until the great Corsican was humbled and broken at Waterloo.

The reader will be aided in forming an opinion upon the events discussed hereafter, by a glance at the colonial situation during the period in question. The extent of the dependencies of France and England in 1800 and the later years will be gathered from the following summary.

In America France regained Louisiana, covering the mouth of the Mississippi. It had been in Spanish hands since 1763; but Talleyrand, Bonaparte's foreign minister, put pressure upon Spain, and Louisiana became French once more under the secret treaty of San Ildefonso (October 1800). The news of the retrocession, however, aroused intense feeling in the United States, inasmuch as the establishment of a strong foreign power at the mouth of the principal water-way in the country jeopardised the whole trade of the Mississippi valley. President Jefferson, recognising that the perpetuation of the new situation "would have put us at war with France immediately," sent James Monroe to Paris to negotiate. As Bonaparte plainly saw at the beginning of 1803 that another war with Great Britain was inevitable, he did not wish to embroil himself with the Americans also, and agreed to sell the possession to the Republic for eighty million francs. Indeed, he completed arrangements for the sale even before Monroe arrived.

Some efforts had also been made, at Bonaparte's instance, to induce Spain to give up the Floridas, East and West, but European complications prevented the exertion of pressure in this direction; and the whole of Florida became part of the United States by treaty signed in 1819. The sale of Louisiana lowered the French flag on the only remaining portion of American territory that acknowledged the tricolour, except the pestilential fragment of French Guiana, on the north-east of South America, where France has had a footing since the beginning of the seventeenth century, save for a short interval (1809 to 1815) when it was taken by the British and Portuguese. But the possession has never been a profitable one, and a contemporary writer, quoting an official publication, describes it as enjoying "neither agriculture, commerce, nor industry."* (* Fallot, L'Avenir Colonial de la France (1903) page 237.)

In the West Indies, France had lost Martinique and Guadeloupe during the naval wars prior to Bonaparte's ascension to supreme authority. These islands were restored to her under the Treaty of Amiens; were once more captured by the British in 1809 to 1810; and were finally handed back to France under the Treaty of Paris in 1814. Tobago and St. Lucia, taken from France in 1803, were not restored.

The large island of San Domingo (the present republic of Haiti, the Espanola of Columbus, and the first seat of European colonisation in the west) had been occupied by French, Spanish, and British planters prior to 1796. The French had been there officially since Richelieu recognised and protected the settlements made by filibusters early in the seventeenth century. The decree of the revolutionary Assembly freeing the slaves in all French possessions led to widespread insurrections. There were scenes of frightful outrage; and above the storm of blood and horror rose to fame the huge figure of the black hero, Toussaint L'Ouverture. At the head of a negro army he at first assisted the French to overturn Spanish rule; but having attained great personal power, and being a man of astonishing capacity for controlling the people of his own race, and for mastering military and governmental problems, he determined to use the opportunity to found an autonomous state under the suzerainty of France. By January 1801 Toussaint L'Ouverture was in possession of the capital. But Bonaparte would not tolerate the domination of the black conqueror, and despatched an expedition to San Domingo to overthrow his government and establish French paramountcy. The result was disastrous. It is true that Toussaint was captured and exiled to France, where he died miserably in prison at Besancon in 1803; but the white troops under General Leclerc perished of yellow fever in hundreds; the blacks retired to the mountains and harassed the suffering French; whilst the vigilance of British frigates, and the requirements of European policy, obviated all possibility of effective reinforcements being sent. Gallic authority in San Domingo ended ingloriously, for the negroes in 1803 drove the debilitated chivalry of France in defeat and disaster to the sea, and chose to be their ruler one who, like themselves, had commenced life as a slave. Napoleon said at St. Helena that his attempt to subjugate San Domingo was the greatest folly of his life.

In the Indian Ocean the French possessed the Isle of France (now, as a British colony, called Mauritius) and Reunion. They had not yet established themselves in Madagascar, though there was some trade between the Mascareignes and the colonists of the Isle of France. Bonaparte during the Consulate contemplated making definite attempts to colonise Madagascar, and, early in 1801, called for a report from his first colonial minister, Forfait. When he obtained the document, he sent it back asking for more details, an indication that his interest in the subject was more than one of transient curiosity. Forfait suggested the project of establishing at Madagascar a penal colony such as the British had at Port Jackson;* (* Prentout, L'Ile de France sous Decaen, 302.) but subsequent events did not favour French colonial expansion, and nothing was done.





© 2020 txtepub下载