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us that the expedition of d'Entrecasteaux must have been conducted with as much ability as zeal, when we see on the chart of the archipelago of Santa Cruz, by M. Beautemps-Beaupré, two of the lines of survey directed by him upon the island of la Recherche or Vanikoro, meet precisely at the spot where still lie beneath the waves the anchors and cannons of one of the frigates of the illustrious and unfortunate navigator. The ships of d'Entrecasteaux continued in sight of the island la Recherche almost the whole of the 19th of May, 1793. Besides the instruments of the survey, there was no deficiency of telescopes pointed towards the land, through which, if signals after the European manner had been made, the piercing eyes of some of the mariners could not fail to have descried them. But the survivors of the wreck were doubtless long departed or dead when the expedition passed, which was not till five years after the disaster. As to finding under the waters of the sea the remains of the shipwreck, that would have been a stroke of good fortune such as seems in general not to have attached to anything connected with the expedition of la Perouse. Perhaps, however, d'Entrecasteaux might have had that melancholy satisfaction, if his officers had paid more attention to the piece of iron, mounted as a hatchet, which was seen in possession of the natives of Santa Cruz, for it had very possibly been procured from the remains of the wrecked frigates. But who will venture to say that in their circumstances he would himself have divined it. However that may be, the hour had now come for the departure of the expedition. Sailing from Santa Cruz it pursued its prescribed course, and thus separated itself more and more from the principal object of its research; yet, thanks to the indefatigable zeal of M. Beautemps-Beaupré, it continued to render eminent service to hydrography. It traversed the archipelagos of the Solomon and Louisiade groups, the coasts of New Britain and New Guinea; but a deplorable incident awaited it on these obscure shores. Admiral d’Entrecasteaux died July 20, 1793, after a short illness which presented some of the symptoms of scurvy. The captain of the frigate l’Esperance had already fallen a victim to fever in the port of Balade. Very soon scurvy and dysentery had decimated the crews which left France in 1791, while the loss among the higher officers divided itself with impartial severity between Paris and Coblentz. Not that there was any suspension of the surveys, which continued to produce excellent charts, but a feeling prevailed that it was time to desist. The two frigates were turned towards the island of Java, and entered the port of Sourabaya, where the voyagers learned that the day of their arrival was not only October 27, 1793, but, at the same time, the 6th Brumaire of the year II. The expedition was here broken up and its different members returned separately to Europe. In his passage, M. Beautemps-Beaupré stopped some time at the Cape of Good Hope. He had preserved the minutes of his charts, but the fairly executed transcripts, with id: scientific documents collected by the expedition, were captured on the return by the English, by whom, however, they were restored at a later period. Yet, to avoid the possibility of their disappearance, he employed the time of his stay at the Cape in making a new copy, which his |...} M. Renard, chief surgeon of the expedition, undertook to convey privately to the representative of France in the United States of America. He himself embarked on a Swedish vessel, which landed him at Gothembourg, where M. Fournier, French consul, procured him the means of re-entering his own country. Arrived at Paris August 31, 1796, after an absence of five years, he rejoined his excellent friend M. Fleurieu, and resumed, under his direction, the preparation of the Neptune of the Baltic sea, being at once named hydrographic engineer of the first class, and under-keeper of the general depot of the marine. In 1798 the editing and publication of the charts of the voyage of d'Entrecasteaux were officially confided to him. This great performance, which did not appear till 1808, was a work of prolonged execution, but the co-operation which he ve it did not engross him exclusively, and from the 20th July, 1799, to the 26th June, 1804, he was charged in chief with making the hydrographic survey of the course of the Scheldt, and with a succession of other hydrographic missions relative either to the Scheldt or to the coasts of the North sea. Admiral Rosily, director of the depot of marine, being designated at the end of the campaign of 1802 to make an inspection of these labors, informed himself of the methods followed by M. Beautemps-Beaupré, as well in fixing the positions of shoals and of soundings as in the construction of the plan. He gave his complete approbation to these methods, which consisted essentially in the combination of the accurate measurement of angles by means of the circle of reflection, with the employment of the geometric principle of the “problem of three points,” a combination whose application to submarine topography is one of the best titles of M. Beautemps-Beaupré to the respectful consideration of hydrographers. In 1804 the Nautical Description of the Coast of the North Sea from Calais to Ostend was published under the auspices of the depot of marine. This work gives in detail the description of the shoals which obstruct the port of Dunkirk, and of those which are comprised between Dunkirk and the entrance of the Scheldt, as well as the nautical instructions necessary for mariners who frequent those shores. The chart which accompanies it was reproduced at the hydrographical office of London, with an English title, as having been executed by Admiral Beautemps-Beaupré; for the English were not slow in ascertaining, though a little vaguely, that under that name there existed a hydrographer worthy of the highest confidence. In the following years M. BeautempsBeaupré explored the course of the Scheldt, till then but little studied, and, for the first time, demonstrated the practicability of the ascent of that river by ships-of-the-line as high as Antwerp, an indication which furnished a basis for the plans of the Emperor at that point. Charts of minute detail embody the results of these labors, before the termination of which M. Beautemps-Beaupré was advanced in his position as hydrographical engineer and officer of the marine, and was named (August 5, 1804) a member of the legion of honor. He had by this time, indeed, become pre-eminently the hydrographer of the Emperor Napoleon. The latter, when a city or department required an important and difficult construction, was accustomed to say: “I will send Prony thither.” When the matter in hand was the elaboration of one of those great projects which he had so justly at heart for the re-establishment of our maritime power, he sent, without saying anything, M. Beautemps-Beaupré. After the campaign of Austerlitz and the peace of Presburg, the views of the Emperor were turned towards the coasts of Dalmatia, of which the numerous inlets and islands, with their steep banks and deep channels, present magnificent harbors, equally sheltered from the wind and the enemy, and of great importance to the Venetian marine. M. Beautemps-Beaupré received (February 6, 1806) an order to make the hydrographic survey of the military ports on the east shore of the Gulf of Venice. To this object he devoted three campaigns, in 1806, 1808, and 1809. He took plans of the whole coast from Trieste to the mouths of the Cattaro, embracing the port of Pola, and the still more magnificent one of Calamota, near Ragusa. The plans and surveys of coasts which he executed have been published on a reduced scale, but the admirably drawn originals remain one of the ornaments of the depot of marine. After the battle of Wagram he was sent by General Maureillan, governor of Zara, to the headquarters of the French army at Vienna, as bearer of a convention of armistice relative to Dalmatia. He received, on this occasion, from the hand of the Emperor, the decoration of the iron crown. Being ordered to report himself, with his charts, to the minister of marine at Paris, he had scarcely arrived at that city when he was named member of a commission charged with duties relating to military operations on the coast of Zealand, where the English had made a descent. Recurrence to him was the invariable rule in everything bearing on the affairs of the Scheldt, and in the intervals of his labors in Dalmatia he had been repeatedly required to return thithor. His indefatigable activity was equal to all demands. A new phase in his life now opened to him. The death of his venerable master and friend, M. de Fleurieu, had left a place vacant in the first class of the Institute in the section of geography and navigation. M. Beautemps-Beaupré consented, with much distrust, to become a candidate. To make the report on his titles to a nomination fell to the lot of M. Arago, who, observing the number and variety of his labors, said to him: “You must hare lived a hundred years ” He had lived, however, but forty-four, and was nominated, September 24, 1810, by a large majority. One of his principal competitors was Admiral de Rosily, director of the depot of marine, his official chief and constant friend. The transient rivalry produced no change in their seclings or relations. In our peaceful contests, he who loses to-day frequently succeeds to-morrow, and the merit of one aspirant places in higher relief the merits of others. Admiral Rosily was himself an hydrographer of much experience and great knowledge. In 1787, during the voyage of la Perouse, he had executed, by order of the King, on the frigate Venus, which he commanded, the hydrographic reconnaissance of the Red sea. In 1816, zealously supported by M. BeautempsBeaupré, he, too, became a colleague of the Academy in the section of free academicians. In 1811 the empire had been extended as far as Hamburg and Lubeck. M. Beautemps-Beaupré, who, at the beginning of his career, had labored on the Baltic Neptune under M. Fleurieu, was now charged with the hydrographic exploration of the northern coasts of the empire beyond the Scheldt. From 1811 to 1813 he made a series of surveys in the departments of Holland, as well as at the mouths of the Ems, the Weser, and the Elbe, in view of the establishment of a great military port. The decision, founded on his investigations. being in favor of the Elbe, he was charged with the selection of the most favorable site on the left bank of that river, and made a complete hydrographic survey of its course. In 1815, during the hundred days, the Emperor, at a reception in the Tuilleries, stopping abruptly before M. Beautemps-Beaupré, said to him, with an air of chagrin: “We are still very far from the Elbe–and your charts f" “Sire,” replied M. Beautemps-Beaupré, “I considered it my duty to send them to the United States by an American vessel.” “It is well,” rejoined the Emperor, gratified at recognizing in this trait the man who had been the confidant and faithful instrument of his great designs. At a later period the charts were remitted to the government of Hanover, and M. Beautemps-Beaupré was named a member of the Royal Society of Sciences of Göttingen. Justly honored for so long a series of services, he might have now resigned himself to a well-earned repose, but his was not the temperament for such an indulgence, and at an age when many think of closing their career he commenced a new one. Since his return from the Cape of Good Hope in 1796, he had been unable, by reason of the war, to extend his labors beyond the waters closed to the enemy, and, with the exception of his exploration of the coasts of the North sea, after the peace of Amiens in 1802, he had been obliged to confine himself to some of the rivers of Germany and the equally protected inlets of Dalmatia. The return of peace again made the ocean free, and the opportunity of revisiting it was seized with alacrity by M. Beautemps-Beaupré, for whom it seemed to revive the brightest days of his early manhood. Admiral Rosily, director of the depot of marine, had the merit of immediately comprehending what the occasion required and allowed, and Louis XVIII that of entertaining his proposals with favor, notwithstanding the embarrassments of the times. The ordinance directing the immediate preparation of the pilot of the coasts of France was signed June 6, 1814, but the labor could not be commenced till 1816. By an ordinance of the former date, M. Beautemps-Beaupré was named hydrographic engineer-in-chief" and joint keeper of the general depot of the charts, plans, and journals of the marine. The condition of French hydrography at that time was an anomaly resulting from circumstances. The administration of Louis XIV had occupied itself with the hydrography of the coasts of France, and the engineer Lavoye had executed, about 1670, charts of the coasts of Brittany which were quite passable, or at least very much superior to those which represented the parts of the coast comprised between the mouth of the Loire and the shores of Spain. A century afterwards, in 1776, the government ordered a hydrographical reconnaissance of the coasts of France under the superintendence of la Brettonniere, captain in the navy, and Mechain, astronomer for the marine and member of the Academy of Sciences; but it would seem that those distinguished personages were rather charged with the collection of materials for rectifying the errors of the old charts, than with the execution of such a detailed and complete survey as might meet the wants of the service under all circumstances. There remain in the archives of the depot of marine but few documents relating to their operations, which extended, however, from Dunkirk to the Bay of Cancale. Since that time geography had made in France important advances with which hydrography had by no means kept pace. Before the close of the eighteenth century there were geographic charts of a great part of the globe, competent to convey a general and sufficiently precise idea of the continents and seas. France particularly had been enriched with the map of Cassini, known also by the name of the map of the Academy, a work of great merit for that “ime in point of execution, and of great utility. It may be said, however, with ruth, that towards the end of the last and in the first years of the present cenury, the art of constructing geographical charts received improvements by which it was essentially revolutionized. This amelioration was consequent upon the establishment of the metric system, which had necessitated the measurement of the meridian of France, from Dunkirk to Barcelona, and afterwards to Formentera. To the chain of triangles established in the execution of this measurement a comprehensive triangulation was subsequently attached, extending over the whole of France, and in the sequel over considerable portions of Spain, of Italy, and of Great Britain. In the prosecution of these vast and difficult labors several members of the Academy have borne a conspicuous part: MM. Delambre, Mechain, Biot, Arago, Mathieu, Puissant, in conjunction with most of the members of the corps of topographical engineers and sundry officers of the military staff. On the triangles of the meridian has been based the trigonometric system of the new map of France, published by the depot of war. In England, savants of the highest merit, Colonels Mudge, Roy, Sabine, and the most distinguished officers of the ordnance corps, have
"It may occasion surprise that M. Beautemps-Beaupré, employed and appreciated as he was by the Emperor Napoleon I, should have retained till 1814 the title of ingenieur-hydrographe ordinaire; but this will be more easily understood from the following letter written July 20, 1819, by M. le duc Decrès, who had been minister of the marine under the empire: “All the world appreciates the services rendered by M. Beautemps-Beaupré with a zeal, per severance, and talent above all praise; but I, who have maintained close relations with him for many years, cannot but regard him with sincere attachment, and owe him many thanks for the proofs of friendship which he has always given me. There are persons who, without the least claim, are always soliciting; these are numerous. There are others, forming but a small minority, who, with the most incontestable claims, never solicit anything. The fact is, that during the eighteen years of my official relations with M. Beautemps-Beaupré, he ceased not to occupy my attention by his labors, but never once invoked it by a solicitation. Since he forgets himself, it is but right that justice and friendship should remember him.”
combined their operations with those of our own countrymen, and have commenced the publication of a magnificent chart of England, designated by the name of the Ordnance Map. To place French hydrography on a level with geography, while rescuing it from the momentary abandonment which war had necessitated, was now the object of interest. The instructions which M. Beautemps-Beaupré received for this purpose were framed by Admiral Rosily, chief of the marine depot, and M. de Rossel, who had become one of its joint directors, after having aided in the hydrographical labors of the expedition of d'Entrecasteaux. These instructions indicated the west coast of France as first claiming attention, since among all those to whose hydrography navigators had need of daily recurrence, this was most noted for its defect of exploration. It was to Brest, therefore, that M. Beautemps-Beaupré repaired, and here two schooners had been built for him, whose names, la Recherche and l'Astrolabe, gratefully recalled the memory of la Perouse and d'Entrecasteaux. To these were joined the light vessels necessary for the accomplishment of his mission. In indicating the objects proposed for his attainment, he was left at liberty to adopt that mode of operating which long experience in labors of this nature might induce him to select. He thus found himself authorized either to unite all the means placed at his disposal on a small extent of coast, in order to produce promptly a description of it, or to distribute them over several points at the same time. The first was the mode on which he determined; as well because he had already proved, as he himself tells us,” its efficiency under various circumstances, as because it was the only one which would enable the depot of marine to publish in succession the collective results of each campaign. By concentrating the operations of the engineers successively on small extents of coast, it was in his power to verify in some measure daily the labors of each of his assistants. Thus, for instance, when an engineer, in sounding, encountered some obstruction which had escaped former researches, he gave notice of it, and M. Beautemps-Beaupré was in a position to make a personal investigation immediately. To this mode of operating he owed the advantage of being able to combine all his means at the same moment on a dangerous position, when the weather was favorable. In this way he has often succeeded in terminating in a single day, or even a few hours, the examination of dangers situated far in the offing, the description of which would have required the employment of an isolated engineer during a whole season; of this kind were the reconnaissances of the western extremity of the bank and race of Sein, the flats of RocheBonne, &c. The years 1816, 1817, 1818, were exclusively devoted to the survey of the maritime position of Brest, and its results, forming the first part of the Pilote Français, were published in 1822. The operations of 1819, 1820, 1821, and of the first part of 1822, embraced the survey of that part of the western coast of France comprised between the point of Penmarch (Finisterre) and the isle of Yeu, (Vendée.) and furnished the materials of the second part of the above work, published in 1829. From 1822 to 1826 the survey was extended to that part of the coast comprised between the isle of Yeu and Spain, and its results appeared as the third part in 1832. In 1839 the fourth part was given to the world, representing the labors of five years from 1829 to 1833, and embracing a description of the coast between the isle of Brehat and Barfleur. In 1834, 1835, and 1836, the operations were extended from the latter point to Dunkirk. Finally, in 1837 and 1838, the survey was made of that portion of coast comprised between the isle of Brehat and the
* Exposé des Traraur Relatifs a la Reconnaissance Hydrographique des Côtes Occidentalis de France, par M. Beautemps-Beaupré, p. 3.