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THE LINDA HALL LIBRARY HISTORY OF SCIENCE COLLECTION
 

Voyages: Scientific Circumnavigations 1679 to 1859
  The Voyage of La Pérouse 1785-1788
 

Barthélemy de Lesseps was the Russian interpreter on the voyage of La Pérouse. The ships were about to head south, and his skills would no longer be required. He disembarked at Petropavlovsk, on the Kamtschatka peninsula of eastern Russia, entrusted with the captain’s journal. La Pérouse wrote in a letter that an overland journey from the Russian peninsula to Europe would be a
"good opportunity to enable Mr. Lesseps to become acquainted with the various provinces of the Russian empire, where it is likely he will one day replace his father" [as French ambassador].

 



Map of Lessep’s overland journey
from Russia to Europe (detail)

from Jean-Baptiste-Barthélemy Lesseps'
Journal Historique du Voyage
de M. de Lesseps.
Paris: Imprimerie Royale, 1790.

After he disembarked at Petropavlovsk, the ships sailed south across the Pacific Ocean to the Fiji Islands and then to Australia. They were last seen heading out from Botany Bay in March, 1788. Lesseps did not learn of the disappearance of his comrades until he arrived in Paris at the end of his arduous overland journey.

La Pérouse: Page 5 of 7.
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