Terre Napoleon. A History Of French Explorations And Projects In Australia By Ernest Scott














































































 -  Indeed,
the accusation is equivalent to one of garrotting: that General Decaen
seized and bound his victim, robbed him, and - Page 100
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Indeed, The Accusation Is Equivalent To One Of Garrotting:

That General Decaen seized and bound his victim, robbed him, and enabled Freycinet and Peron to use his work as their own.

So widely has this view been diffused, that probably few will be prepared for the assurance that there is no evidence to support it. On the contrary, as will be shown, neither Peron nor Freycinet ever saw any chart or journal taken from Flinders. Use was made, it is believed, of one British chart which may possibly have been his - that embodying a drawing of Port Phillip - but reasons will be given for the opinion that this, whether it was Flinders' chart or Murray's, was seen by the French before Baudin's ships left Sydney, and was certainly not copied at Mauritius.

Before proving these statements, it will be convenient to make the reader acquainted with the Captain-General or Military-Governor of Mauritius, Charles Decaen. He was a rough, dogged, somewhat brutal type of soldier, who had attained to eminence during the revolutionary wars. Born at Caen in Normandy in 1769, he served during his youth for three years in the artillery, and then entered a lawyer's office in his native town; but during the wars of the Revolution, when France was pressed by enemies on all sides, he threw aside quills and parchments, and, in his twenty-third year, entered upon his strenuous fighting career. Thenceforth, until after the signing of the Treaty of Luneville in 1801, he was almost constantly engaged in military operations.

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