Perouse, John Francis Galaupde La

, an able but unfortunate navigator, was born at Albi in 1741. He entered into the French navy when he was only in his fifteenth year, and acquired such professional skill, that he was regarded as fit for the most arduous enterprises. The triumphs of the French marine were few in his time; yet he commanded in the successful attempt to destroy the English settlement in Hudson’s Bay in 1782. On the restoration of peace, it was resolved by the French ministry that a voyage of discovery should be undertaken to supply what had been left defective in the voyages of our illustrious navigator captain James Cook, and his associates. Louis XVI. drew up the plan of the intended expedition with great judgment and intelligence, and La Perouse was the person fixtd upon to conduct it. With two frigates, la Boussole, et PAstrolabe, the first under his own command, the second under that of M. de Langle, but subject | to his orders, they sailed from Brest in August 1785; touched at Madeira and Teneriffe, and in November anchored on the coast of Brazil. Thence they proceeded round Cape Horn into the South Sea, and in February 1786 cast anchor in the bay of Conception, on the coast of Chili. At this time, so well had the means of preserving health been employed, that they had not a man sick. The ships reached Easter island in the month of April, and thence sailed, without touching at any land, to the Sandwich islands. On June 23d they anchored on the American coast, in lat. 58 37‘, and landed on an island to explore the country and make observations. At this place M. Perouse had the misfortune of having two boats wrecked, with the loss of all their crew. Thence he ran down to California, and in September anchored in the bay of Monterey, whence they took their departure across the Pacific ocean, and in January 1787 arrived in the Macao roads. In February they reached Manilla, which they quitted in April, shaping their course for the islands of Japan. Passing the coasts of Corea and Japan, they fell in with Chinese Tartary, in lat. 42|, and ran to the northward. They anchored in a bay of the island of Sagalien, and thence proceeded up the shallow channel between that island and the continent as far as 51 29’. Returning thence they reached the southern extremity of Sagalien in August, and passed a strait between it and Jesso, since named Perouse strait, into the North Pacific. On the sixth of September they anchored in the harbour of St. Peter and Paul in Kamtschatka. The ships having refitted, they set sail, and arrived at the Navigators Islands in December. In the bay of Maouna they met with a friendly reception from numerous natives, and began to take in refreshments. A party of sixty, under the command of M. de Langle, went ashore to procure fresh water, when a most unfortunate occurrence took place, in which they were attacked by the natives, and M. de Langle and eleven of his men lost their lives. Quitting this place without any attempts at vengeance, Perouse proceeded to New Holland, and arrived at Botany Bay in January 1788, and here terminates all that is known of the voyage of this navigator, from the journal which he transmitted to France. He had many and very important objects of research remaining, but was never more heard of. The vessels were probably wrecked, and all the crews perished, since all efforts made to obtain | information of them have been fruitless. In 1798 was published, at the expence of the French nation, and for the benefit of the widow of Perouse, “Voyage autour du Monde par J. F. G. cle la Perouse,” in three vols. 4to. It was translated into the English. The discoveries of this navigator are chiefly in the seas between Japan and China, and China and Tartary. 1

1 Preface to his Voyage. —Rees’s Cyclopædia.