26 September 2002
NEW SOUTH WALES
Chart of Port Jackson by Louis Henri de Saulces de Freycinet, autograph manuscript on paper (watermark MONTGOLFIER), ink and pencil, grid in red ink, ruled border on three sides, left-hand margin soiled, 20 5/8 x 13½in. (52.5 x 34.2cm.), July-November 1802
LOUIS DE FREYCINET'S OWN CHART OF THE HUNTER RIVER AND THE ROADS OF PORT JACKSON including soundings, executed from direct observation during the Baudin expedition. The majority of the place names are in Freycinet's hand and rendered in English, but some are in French (e.g. 'ville de Sydney', 'Route de Paramatta' and 'Pointe Benelong').
Plate 29a of the Baudin Atlas is based closely on this although Freycinet (as editor) cites the map published by John Hunter as his principal source together with observations 'faites à bord des Corvettes Françaises en 1802'. The extent of the adjustments made by the French to the Hunter map (published in 1792) can be seen far more clearly in this original manuscript than in the engraved version.
Freycinet was a meticulous observer and his motives for checking the Hunter map (particularly such details as the soundings) must be seen against a background of French military ambitions in this region.
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