|| Baudin purchased the Sydney built
schooner Casuarina in November 1802 and sent the Naturaliste home
laden with specimens. He elevated Sub Lieutenant Louis de Freycinet,
above more senior officers, to command the vessel. Its shallow
draught made it ideal to conduct detailed inshore surveys.
traveled along the coast of what they called Terre
the south coast of Flinders’ Australia, Baudin and the scientists
on the Géographe studied the native flora and fauna
while de Freycinet charted the coast line. De Freycinet arrived
at King George’s Sound in February 1803, well ahead of Baudin,
where he started repairs on the Casuarina. Although claimed for
Britain by George Vancouver in 1791 and later surveyed by Flinders,
de Freycinet also began a survey of the region.
|Baudin arrived, annoyed at de Freycinet’s
barely disguised insubordination, and put his scientists to
work collecting over 200 specimens, meeting Aboriginal people
and recording their shelters. Baudin also charted Oyster Harbour
and what he called ‘River of the French’ (the
The two ships headed west towards St Allouran Island near
Cape Leeuwin, then up the west coast into Geographe Bay before
eventually arriving in Shark Bay, which de Freycinet charted
with great skill.
Though from a later voyage, the views of King George’s
Sound by Louis Auguste de Sainson in this exhibition show
many similar activities and the features noted by the Baudin
de Saulces de Freycinet. Unknown artist c. 1812 around the
time of his marriage to Rose Marie Pinon. Copy of an engraving
of the original family portrait. Courtesy de Freycinet family.
In particular the views of the Sound, the longboat, Oyster Harbour
of the French’ reflect the observations of Baudin’s
‘The Casuarina is a 30 ton schooner,
very badly constructed and worse fitted out. It is too short
for its masts. It takes in five inches of water a day. We have
to continually pump, it is a very poor seaboat.’ Freycinet
Journal. Casuarina 23/9/1801. Reproduced in Marchant, 1998:183.
||Carte Générale de la
General map of Australia, 1808-1820
Louis-Claude de Saulces de Freycinet
Engraved map of Australia annotated throughout by de Freycinet
in pencil, red and sepia ink. This work is considered one
of the greatest French Maps of Australia and in its final
form appears in the atlas volume of Voyage
aux Terres Australes.
on this version he is calculating the continent’s land
mass, in another instance Freycinet adds English names in red ink,
acknowledging Flinder’s prior claims to the discoveries on
the south coast. In the bottom left corner are shown the three
ships of the Baudin voyage, Géographe, Naturaliste, and
Casuarina. The longitude is calculated from Paris.
On loan courtesy of Kerry Stokes collection, Perth, 2002.45