Banded Hare-Wallaby, by Charles Lesueur, from François Péron, Voyage de découvertes aux terres Australes, 1807-16. Black Emu family, by Charles Lesueur, from François Péron, Voyage de découvertes aux terres Australes, 1807-16.
19. Péron, François (1775-1810).
Voyage de découvertes aux terres Australes ..., sur les corvettes le Géographe, le Naturaliste, et al goëlette la Casuarina, pendant les années 1800, 1801, 1802, 1803 et 1804.
Paris: De L'Imprimerie impériale, 1807-16.
In 1800, the French dispatched two ships, the Géographe and the Naturaliste, on a voyage of scientific exploration to New Holland, as Australia was called then. In command was Nicolas Baudin, a veteran of such voyages, and he took with him a crew of twenty-four naturalists, astronomers, and draftsmen. The voyage is often called “ill-fated,” because so many men died of scurvy and dysentery, including Baudin himself. François Peron was only an assistant naturalist when the ships departed, but by 1803, he was the only surviving zoologist on board. Peron bore up well under these new responsibilities, and when he returned in 1804, he brought back not only some 100,000 specimens, but many live animals and plants (a number of which, like the Black Emus, ended up on the grounds of Malmaison, the chateau of Josephine, Napoleon’s wife). The principal artist was Charles Lesueur and he drew most of the animals; Nicolas-Martin Petit specialized in anthropological studies. Since Baudin did not survive the trip, Peron wrote the official account of the voyage, although he himself died before it could be completed.