Yet Very Many Of Them Have Heard Of
Laperouse, And Are Familiar With His Monument Cast In Bronze In The
Public Square Of Albi.
They speak his name respectfully as that of one
who grew up among their ancestors, who trod their streets, sat in their
cathedral, won great fame, and met his death under the strange,
distant, southern stars.
His family had for five hundred years been settled, prominent and
prosperous, on estates in the valley of the Tarn. In the middle of the
fifteenth century a Galaup held distinguished office among the citizens
of Albi, and several later ancestors are mentioned honourably in its
records. The father of the navigator, Victor Joseph de Galaup,
succeeded to property which maintained him in a position of influence
and affluence among his neighbours. He married Marguerite de
Resseguier, a woman long remembered in the district for her qualities
of manner and mind. She exercised a strong influence over her
adventurous but affectionate son; and a letter written to her by him at
an interesting crisis of his life, testifies to his eager desire to
conform to his mother's wishes even in a matter that wrenched his
heart, and after years of service in the Navy had taken him far and
kept him long from her kind, concerning eyes.
Jean-Francois derived the name by which he is known in history from the
estate of Peyrouse, one of the possessions of his family. But he
dropped the "y" when assuming the designation, and invariably
spelt the name "Laperouse," as one word.
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