Fleurieu, Charles Peter Clarel De

, zm evninmt French hydrographer, was born at Lyons in 1738, of a | fatally distinguished in the profession of the law, but devoted his attention from his infancy to marine studies. He arrived at the rank of a naval captain in the French service, and was employed many years before the revolution in the office of their marine, under the title of director of the ports and arsenals. His countrymen impute to his labours and skill the figure which the French navy was enabled to make in the American war. In 1790 he was appointed minister of the marine, and filled that important situation with great integrity; but dreading the influence of popular opinion, he gave in his resignation in 1791, when the mob were gaining a fatal ascendancy. He had before requested of the king to separate the colonial department of the marine from the other, and make it a distinct office, with which his majesty did not at that time think it necessary to comply. During his administration he published a work to illustrate the history of navigation, entitled “Decouvertes des Francois en 1768 et 1769, dans le sud-est de la Nouvelle-Guine,Paris, 1790, 4to; the professed object of which is to restore to the French navigators, and particularly to Bougainville, the merit of those discoveries of which the English have endeavoured to deprive them.

Fleurieu’s retirement from public life did not last long, as the king, who had a high opinion not only of his talents, but of his moral character, appointed him, in April 1792, tutor to the dauphin. In 1793, however, he was arrested by the revolutionary party, and imprisoned in the Madelonettes. By what means he escaped the general murder of all men of talents and worth we are not told. In 1797 he was again appointed to his old post of minister of marine, and was at the same time chosen deputy of the department of the Seine in the council of ancients, to which he was also secretary, but lost both of these offices in September following by a new turn of public arrangements. In 1799 Bonaparte appointed him a member of the council of state, of the section of the marine, in tend ant-general of his horse, and grand officer of the legion of honour. In July 1805 he resigned the office of intendant, and was made governor of the Thuilleries, having also just before been chosen member of the institute, and of the board of longitude. The improvements which his country men say he?, made in this last research, and the obligations the English owe to him, are detailed in a Voyage which he printed in | 1774, 2 vols. 8vo, which he performed in 1768 and by order of the king, in order to prove some time-pieces invented by Berthoud. In 1800 he was the editor of Marchand’s < Voyage autour du monde.“His latter years were employed in completing a grand” Hydrographic Atlas," which was to have been published in 1811, but this was prevented by his death, Aug. 18, 1810. He had expended above 200,000 franks on this work. His countrymen speak of his talents with profound regard, and his private character appears to have been equally praiseworthy. 1