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In the years 1822-5 Louis Isidor Duperrey circumnavigated the world as commander of the French naval vessel La Coquille. He sailed round the Horn, spent some time on the Chilean and Peruvian coasts, and sailed through the Tuamotu Archipelago to Tahiti. He then proceeded to the East Indies, and thence round the west and south of Australia to Port Jackson in New South Wales. From Port Jackson he sailed to New Zealand, where he stayed from the 3rd to the 17th April 1824 at the Bay of Islands. He returned north to the East Indies, rounded the Cape of Good Hope, and finally reached France again in March 1825. 1
The present book deals with Duperrey's visit to New Zealand seen through the eyes of participants. The accounts selected for inclusion are the brief New Zealand section of a published memoir of the voyage by Duperrey, translated by Professor K. J. Hollyman; Dumont d'Urville's 'Voyage de M. Duperrey', published in his book about his own voyage of 1826-9, translated by Miss Olive M. Wright; the New Zealand segment of René Primavère Lesson's account of the voyage published in 1838-9, translated by Mrs Diana Quarmby; and Jules de Blosseville's reports in the Archives Nationales of France of his visits to settlements in the Bay of Islands, translated by the editor. Most of the officers of La Coquille wrote journals of the voyage which are preserved in the Archives Nationales, 2 but they add little to the coverage of the visit to New Zealand given in the selected pieces. Dumont d'Urville, Lesson and Blosseville were the outstanding scholars and literary lights of the ship's company, and it is appropriate that the Duperrey piece be included since he was the commander.
BACKGROUND OF DUPERREY'S VOYAGE
A long succession of European explorers from Magellan in 1521 had traversed the Pacific before Duperrey, and its broad geography had been established. 3 While Duperrey gave the first certain reports of several Pacific atolls, his circumnavigation of the world was not notable for the discovery of important lands. Its objects, stated by Duperrey in a written proposal to the Minister of the Navy, were mainly to add to hydrographic, botanical and ethnographic knowledge, particularly of New Guinea and the Caroline Islands. Duperrey was himself an hydrographer, and had exercised his skills to good effect, notably in the Marianas, while accompanying Louis de Freycinet on his circumnavigation of the world in the Uranie in 1817-20. 4 Detailed papers recording
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the proposal, plans and preparations for his own voyage are preserved in the Archives Nationales. 5 They were later summarised with some informative comment by Lesson, the doctor:
'The Ministry of the Navy had just been taken over by Baron Portal, a precise and able rather than brilliant administrator, who was loth to promote a new voyage of discovery, because M. de Freycinet's expedition cost the State large sums. The loss of the corvette Uranie on a reef of the Malouines in fine weather... had made the Minister remarkably cool about this type of enterprise, but nevertheless Messieurs Duperrey and d'Urville, who had joined forces, tried by every possible means to rekindle a zeal which seemed to be being extinguished from the start. The difficulty of such expeditions had been exaggerated, and the officers of the previous voyage knew better than anyone that, if managed prudently, they offered no more risk of loss than those carried out on the coasts of Europe. The principal points of the South Sea had been sufficiently fixed by the first discoverers that only restricted areas remain to be studied; many charts to prepare, but few important lands still to be shown; labours of detail, but few general ones of prime importance; islands to mark in the Carolines, the Fijis, the Pomotou Islands, but no new archipelago to see looming up under the vessel's stem! D'Urville then invoked the influence of his protectors, and powerful ones he had, to make Duperrey the Government's choice to command an expedition in which he accepted the second role as lieutenant, hoping, it is true, that everything on the voyage would be done in concert between the commander and himself.
'These two officers, in order to persuade the new Minister of the Navy to fit out a ship for the South Sea, turned to good account the ideas of rigorous economy which animated them and which they achieved, the expenses of the corvette La Coquille costing less during its three-year voyage than it would have in making the coasting voyage from Toulon to Corsica. Its actual expenses were 257,850 francs 40 cents; and if it had remained in France these expenses would have exceeded 400,000 francs....
'The Minister of the Navy submitted for the approval of King Louis XVIII the voyage proposal of Messieurs Duperrey and d'Urville. A transport of four hundred and eighty tons, of the port of Toulon, called La Coquille, was dignified with the name of corvette, and assigned for this voyage. It was decided that no specific expenses would be incurred for the natural history collections during the expedition and that the naval doctors would receive no help for this purpose. Messieurs Duperrey and d'Urville chose their officers, and, it must be said, happily....
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'The corvette La Coquille was a solid vessel carrying sail admirably, but mediocre in speed. She was given a crew of 70 men and victuals and spares for 18 months... The voyage lasted 872 days without the loss of a single man of the crew.' 6
DUPERREY AND HIS OFFICERS
Louis Isidor Duperrey, a Parisian, was born on 21 October 1786, and joined the navy at the age of sixteen. He was an enseigne -- a rank broadly equivalent to that of lieutenant in the British Navy -- when he accompanied Freycinet in the Uranie in 1817. On his return to France he was awarded the Croix de St Louis and promoted to lieutenant de vaisseau, or lieutenant-commander. On his own voyage his main contributions to science were in the fields of terrestrial magnetism and hydrography, as they had been with Freycinet. On his return he was promoted to capitaine de frégate, or commander. He was appointed an officer of the Légion d'Honneur in 1836, and was author of numerous works on physical geography and hydrography. He died on 10 September 1865. 7
The most distinguished member of Duperrey's company was Jules Sébastien César Dumont d'Urville. His father Gabriel Charles François Dumont was sieur of Urville - a country squire, to adopt an English parallel -- hence the patrician patronymic Dumont d'Urville. He was born at Condé-sur-Noireau on 23 May 1790, being thus several years younger than Duperrey. After an education which included a grounding in botany and other natural sciences he joined the navy at the age of seventeen. He achieved deserved fame when in 1818, on a voyage to the eastern Mediterranean, he saw the Venus de Milo; having taken steps to have it procured for France, he was made Chevalier de St Louis in 1820. Then came his association with Duperrey in promoting the voyage of La Coquille, on which his rank was also lieutenant de vaisseau. He was, like Duperrey, promoted to capitaine de frégate after his return. In 1826-9 he himself made a notable voyage round the world in La Coquille, rechristened L'Astrolabe; during it he clarified the geography of parts of the New Zealand coast and revisited the Bay of Islands. In 1837-40 he made yet another circumnavigation in L'Astrolabe, with a companion vessel La Zelée, his rank then being capitaine de vaisseau, or captain. As a result of a discovery by him on this voyage, France acquired sovereignty over Adélie Land in the Antarctic. He was promoted contre-amiral (rear-admiral) on his return. He was killed on 8 May 1842 in a railway accident. 8
A description by Lesson of d'Urville on the voyage of La Coquille
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brings him to life again and also throws light on his association with Duperrey:
'The close association which had existed between the two heads of the expedition after the first months of the voyage quickly gave way to feelings opposed to those which had at first united them for a common purpose. Volatile and impressionable, the head of the expedition was continually upset by the cold, stubborn, peremptory character of the ship's second in command. There resulted from this hurts and wrangling which added to the frustrations naturally experienced by officers full of force and ambition when shut up in confined cabins and all the time confronted with each other. Then the antipathies of the heads quickly induced strained relations between the subordinates who sided with the one or the other....
'M. d'Urville, big, robust, heavily built, enjoyed perfect health on the voyage of La Coquille, for I saw him indisposed only for a few days. He therefore placed little trust in medicine, freely made fun of doctors, and scorned nautical hygiene. He showed blind faith in the Leroy purgative, his panacea....
'Everything, in physique as in habits and costume, recalled in d'Urville a man of primitive times. He joined to the excessive soberness of a Spaniard the disdain of a beggar for his appearance... M. d'Urville indeed put on his uniform only on the rarest of occasions when service obligations prevented him from refusing, but his everyday costume was more untidy than that of most sailors, at that time much neglected.' 9
Lesson goes on to say that the English officers at Port Jackson who came aboard La Coquille to give greetings on behalf of the New South Wales authorities were surprised when received by 'a big man, unbuttoned, stockingless, in pants of worn-through cloth, baggy drill jacket, no cravat, wearing a poor straw hat with the daylight showing through it'. Such eccentricities evoke a piquant picture of Dumont d'Urville's meetings at the Bay of Islands with a Maori chief wearing British regimentals and missionaries in sober black suits.
Of the other officers Lesson also gives some account. 10 There were Auguste Bérard, born at Montpelier, who had accompanied Freycinet, and was many years later in New Zealand waters as commander of the Rhin, protecting French interests in the Pacific; Charles Henri Jacquinot, later to accompany Dumont d'Urville on his two voyages; Charles Victor Lottin, a Parisian, who also gained some later fame as a naval officer; Paul André Gabert, of Toulon, purser and quartermaster, also a former member of Freycinet's company; and Jules Alphonse René Porret de Blosseville, a junior officer born in Rouen in 1802, of whom
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Lesson thought so highly that he described him as 'the finest character of a man I have ever met', destined to die at the age of 31 while carrying out hydrographic work on the east coast of Greenland, although not before he had tried to persuade the French authorities to make a settlement in New Zealand using convict labour -- since fortunately he failed, we need not hold that against him. 11 Another junior officer was H. de Blois.
La Coquille had sailed from France with two naval doctors, of whom Lesson was the junior, but the other, Prosper Garnot, had to leave the vessel at Port Jackson for reasons of health. 12 Jules Le Jeune was the expedition's artist. 13
Lesson himself, destined to be the most prolific chronicler of Duperrey's voyage, was born in Rochefort in 1794. He became a naval surgeon, and having had some experience of botanical work at Rochefort joined Duperrey's expedition as a naturalist as well as a doctor. In addition to his writings arising from the voyage referred to in the bibliographical note later in the present introduction (see pp 19-21), he wrote a medical account published in 1829 and ajournai published in 1830. He was the author of a prodigious number of writings on zoology, ornithology, botany, and French antiquities. He attained high rank in the naval medical service. In 1847 he was made an officer of the Légion d'Honneur. He died on 28 April 1849. 14
THE BAY OF ISLANDS, 1769-1824
In his account of his visit to the Bay of Islands Lesson makes frequent reference to its earlier history, and Blosseville also shows that he was familiar with the main writings of previous European visitors. Some account of the previous history of the Bay is therefore called for.
The Bay of Islands was well populated at the time of early European contact, and had evidently been settled for many generations. The language and customs of the Maoris of the Bay showed a close affinity with those of the inhabitants of the rest of New Zealand. It is generally agreed among linguists and anthropologists specialising in Pacific studies that the prehistoric settlers who were decisive in determining the speeches and cultures of the Maoris of New Zealand came from Eastern Polynesia. 15
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Abel Janszoon Tasman in 1642-3 discovered a considerable portion of the western coastlines of the South Island and North Island, but sailed north-east from the northern extremity of the North Island without making any landings. 16 James Cook in 1769 came south in the Endeavour from Tahiti and then west in the direction of the coast discovered by Tasman. On 7 October he saw the east coast of the North Island in the Poverty Bay area, and in due course came north along that coast on the first stage of his memorable circumnavigation of the North and South Islands. He visited the Bay of Islands, so named by him, from 29 November to 5 December 1769. 17
Cook made a landing on the island of Motuarohia, where an attack by Maoris was repulsed by musket fire. On 1 December he landed on the south side of the harbour, where there were several plantations of sweet potatoes and yams. Further landings were made in the central part of the Bay, which was well populated, with many 'Hippahs or strongholds'. The people seemed to live in friendship with one another, although it did not appear that they were united under one head. They sold the visitors quantities of fish caught with hooks and large seine nets. They had a tree from which cloth like that in other Polynesian islands was made, but this was scarce.
While no overt record of the introduction of European diseases by Cook's company is extant, it must be assumed, from the appearance of such diseases after European contact was made elsewhere in Polynesia, that this in fact happened at the Bay of Islands. The isolated Maori population lacked the relative immunity to virus and bacterial diseases acquired by natural selection in Europe over many centuries. Lesson states 18 that Cook's men introduced syphilis at the Bay -- an assumption which was probably correct, since there must have been ample opportunity for the transmission of the disease during Cook's stay. The most lethal and insidious diseases introduced at that time may well have been respiratory infections.
The next Europeans after Cook and his company to visit the Bay of Islands were those of the French expedition led by Marc Marion du Fresne in the Marquis de Castries and Mascarin. They anchored near Okahu Island on 4 May 1772 and on 10 May shifted to an anchorage south of Moturua, where the ships remained till 14 July. For some weeks after their arrival they were on good terms with the inhabitants. Camps were established on Moturua and the south side of the Bay. On 12 June du Fresne went ashore on the mainland with a number of men, and did not return that evening. The next day, when a boat was sent to
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land, the crew, with the exception of one man who escaped by swimming, were attacked and killed. The French drove the inhabitants of Moturua from the island, inflicting heavy casualties and burning their village. Some time later remnants of the belongings of du Fresne and some of his companions were found in the village on the mainland of the chief Te Kuri and in a neighbouring one; both villages were burnt. An account of these happenings by Julien Crozet, commander of the Marquis de Castries, including descriptions of Maori life and customs, was published in Paris in 1783. 19
Following on the establishment of a British colony in New South Wales in 1788 and the growth of the whaling industry in the South Pacific, the Bay of Islands in the first decade of the nineteenth century attracted increasing attention as a convenient port of call for provisions, water and wood.
A decisive event in the history of the Bay was the determination of Samuel Marsden, Government Chaplain at Port Jackson, to establish a mission in New Zealand. 20 He had been favourably impressed by Te Pahi and Ruatara, chiefs of Rangihoua on the north side of the Bay of Islands, who had visited New South Wales. During a visit to England Marsden persuaded the Church Missionary Society, an affiliate of the Church of England, to sanction a mission comprising for a start lay missionaries under his supervision. He returned to New South Wales early in 1810 with William Hall, a carpenter, and John King, a rope-maker.
Marsden's plans for the mission were interrupted for a time by news of the capture and burning of the Boyd, with the massacre of most of the ship's company, in 1809 at Whangaroa, some distance north of the Bay of Islands.
In 1813 Thomas Kendall, a former schoolmaster, arrived in New South Wales, 21 and in 1814 Marsden sent Kendall and Hall on an exploratory visit to the Bay of Islands. They returned with a number of Bay of Islands chiefs, including Marsden's old friend Ruatara, Hongi Hika, a close relative of Ruatara, and Korokoro, chief of the Paroa district on the south side of the Bay.
At this time Lachlan Macquarie was Governor of New South Wales. He favoured Marsden's establishment of the New Zealand mission and appointed Kendall as a magistrate. On 23 December 1814 Marsden arrived in the Bay of Islands with Kendall, Hall, King and three artisans
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to establish the mission. On 24 February 1815 he bought land at Rangihoua on which the missionary settlement was founded. During this visit to New Zealand Marsden visited the North Cape, Whangaroa, Waimate and Hauraki. His journal, published in the Missionary Register, gave a graphic account of his contacts with the Maori chiefs. 22 John Liddiard Nicholas, who accompanied Marsden to New Zealand, wrote a narrative of the visit which was published. 23
In 1815 Marsden set up a seminary at Parramatta in New South Wales, his own place of residence, and numbers of New Zealand chiefs and sons of chiefs visited it in succeeding years.
In 1819 Marsden made a second visit to the Bay of Islands, bringing with him the Reverend John Gare Butler, and James Kemp, a lay missionary. Marsden wished to set up a second missionary settlement, and received offers of land from Hongi Hika, paramount chief of Kerikeri and environs on the north-west side of the Bay, and from Korokoro, the head chief of Paroa on the south side. He decided on Kerikeri, and bought a plot of land from Hongi, where the Butlers and Kemps in due course took up residence on 20 December 1819. Marsden, having visited Hokianga and the Taiamai district, had returned to Port Jackson in November 1819, but arrived back in the Bay in February 1820. He remained in New Zealand for nine months, visiting the Hauraki area, Tauranga, Kaipara, Whangarei, Manukau and Hokianga. Abstracts from his journals of these two visits were published in the Missionary Register. 24
On both his first and second voyages Marsden visited Kororareka, on the south side of the Bay. Kororareka Bay offered good anchorage and shelter for visiting ships, and was to become the main European port and settlement in the Bay.
On 2 March 1820 Kendall sailed for England with Hongi and Hongi's kinsman Waikato. They arrived back on 12 July 1821. While in England Kendall concluded with Samuel Lee, a professor at Cambridge, preparations for a publication entitled A Grammar and Vocabulary of the New Zealand Language, published by the Church Missionary Society in London in 1820.
After Hongi's return to New Zealand he organised expeditions of the Bay of Islands Maoris against the tribes of the Hauraki and Waikato and Rotorua areas, in which the preponderance of muskets in the hands of Hongi and his allies won them a series of bloody victories. In some of these campaigns, and in others on his own account, Pomare, of Matauwhi, a short distance south of Kororareka on the south side of
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the Bay, achieved a reputation as a warrior chief second only to that of Hongi. 25
On 3 August 1823 Marsden arrived at the Bay on his fourth visit, accompanied by the Reverend Henry Williams and his family. He conveyed to Kendall notice of his suspension from the mission for misconduct, and Kendall later resided at Matauwhi under the protection of Pomare until he left New Zealand for Valparaiso in February 1825 to become chaplain to the British colony there. 26 Marsden, who had fallen out with Butler, replaced him as superintendent of the mission by Williams, who then founded and resided in a third mission settlement at Paihia, on the west side of the Bay. Marsden left the Bay for Port Jackson on 14 November 1823, accompanied by Butler.
Korokoro, renowned chief of Paroa, died in 1823, 27 and was succeeded by his brother Tuai. 28 It was at an anchorage close to Paroa that La Coquille lay during most of the time spent by Duperrey and his company in New Zealand waters.
A BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE
The purpose of the present note is to give the bibliographical background of the extracts from Duperrey, Dumont d'Urville, Lesson and Blosseville included in the present work.
After Duperrey and his companions returned to France the Government sponsored an ambitious publication by Arthus Bertrand, a Parisian bookseller-publisher. The work, which may conveniently be identified by the short title Voyage autour du monde... sur... La Coquille (Voyage round the world... on... La Coquille), was to comprise four divisions, 'Zoologie', 'Botanique', 'L'Histoire du voyage', and 'Hydrographie', in six volumes and four atlases, to be issued progressively in instalments containing illustrations and extracts from the texts. These plans, advertised on the front of the initial instalments, were in due course somewhat modified. A number of volumes were published, but much of the project was never completed.
The general narrative of the voyage did not get beyond the first volume, stopping at Chile, published under the title 'Historique' and attributed on the title-page to Duperrey. Lesson said in 1846 that Gabert 'edited the text of the first issues of the historical part of our expedition, the only ones which have seen the light. The cessation of
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this publication has buried our voyage for ever in a profound forgetfulness'. 29 The narrative conforms with reports by Duperrey in the Archives Nationales, sent to France from ports of call. 30 The last of these reports was from Port Jackson, before Duperrey visited New Zealand.
An atlas intended to illustrate the historical narrative of the voyage, entitled 'Histoire du voyage. Atlas' with the date 1826, had already been published.
The volume 'Hydrographie', by Duperrey, is dated 1829. The first chapter deals with the methodology of determining latitudes, longitudes, compass bearings and variations, and of preparing the charts comprised in 'Hydrographie. Atlas', published with the date 1827. The remaining chapters give a chronological narrative of hydrographic observations terminating at Callao. 'Hydrographie et Physique', also by Duperrey, and also dated 1829, contains tables of the routes traversed by La Coquille and the meteorological observations made on shipboard during the voyage. The positions of the ship's two anchorages at the Bay of Islands and of the observatory set up on shore, and meteorological observations on each day of the stay at the Bay, are given.
There is thus no comprehensive narrative of the voyage by Duperrey beyond Port Jackson either in his official reports in the Archives Nationales or in the officially sponsored publication. He did, however, write a memoir of the voyage which, while purporting from its title to deal with the geographical operations on the voyage, gives in effect a general summary of it. Entitled 'Mémoire sur les opérations géographiques faites dans la campagne de la corvette de S. M. la Coquille, pendant les années 1822, 1823, 1824 et 1825' (Memoir of the geographical operations carried out during the cruise of His Majesty's corvette La Coquille in the years 1822, 1823, 1824 and 1825), it was published in the French periodical Annales maritimes et coloniales, 1828, part 1, pp 569-673, and reprinted, with self-contained pagination, with the date 30 October 1827, which was apparently when Duperrey completed it. It is from this work (pp 40-2) that the extract in the present book is taken.
'Hydrographie. Atlas', published with the date 1827, contains a short introduction by Duperrey. It includes the chart of the Bay of Islands (no 19) reproduced at the end of the present book, and a plan of Port Manawa (no 20), both prepared by Bérard, Blois and Blosseville, also a chart of the south coast of the South Island (no 45) done by Blosseville from information given to him at Port Jackson by one Captain Edwardson, a chart of the North Island by Blosseville (also no 45), a
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plan of Chalky Harbour (Chalky Inlet) by Edwardson (also no 45), and a plan of the Hokianga River (no 46).
'Zoologie', occupying two volumes in the official publication with an illustrative atlas entitled 'Histoire naturelle, Zoologie. Atlas', has particular reference to Lesson's notes on natural history in the extract from his later book included in the present work; numbers of these notes are summaries of passages by Lesson in 'Zoologie'. The first volume of 'Zoologie', attributed on the title-page to Lesson and Garnot, is dated 1826, as is the atlas. In his preface to this volume dated 18 January 1828 -- an indication that the dates on the title-pages of the volumes in the official publication do not necessarily agree with the years in which the volumes appeared -- Lesson explains that he and Garnot, the doctors of the expedition, had been responsible for most of the zoological observations on the voyage. Garnot, Lesson added, had to leave the expedition at Port Jackson for reasons of health in January 1824, and embarked in a British vessel. He did not therefore visit New Zealand. Lesson goes on to say that when d'Urville set out on his new expedition (his voyage of 1826-9) the botanists Bory de St Vincent and Adolphe Brogniart took over the botanical part of the official publication and Latreille and Guérin the entomological part. Thus of the three naturalists of Duperrey's expedition Lesson alone completed his contribution to the official publication more or less as planned, covering mammals, birds, reptiles and zoophytes, with some ethnographic observations.
The Dumont d'Urville selection in the present book, 'Voyage de M. Duperrey', appears in the third volume (pp 672-91) of his work on his own voyage of 1826-9, Voyage de la corvette L'Astrolabe (Voyage of the corvette L'Astrolabe). This volume, published in 1831, comprised a collection of Pièces Justificatives' (Sources), being quotations concerning New Zealand from numbers of published works, except that 'Voyage de M. Duperrey' is not a quoted extract from another work, but a short essay by d'Urville himself. He explains near the beginning that because of the lack of progress in the publication of Duperrey's own account of his voyage (in the official publication) he had been forced to give up the idea of quoting from it.
The work by Lesson of which the New Zealand segment is given in the present book is Voyage autour du monde... sur la corvette La Coquille (Voyage round the world... in the corvette La Coquille), published in two volumes in Paris in 1838-9. The extract is in the second volume, pp 307-84.
Blosseville's two short reports on his visits to settlements in the Bay of Islands are in the Archives Nationales (Marine, Service Hydrographique, 5JJ. 82).
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AN EVALUATION OF THE SELECTED ACCOUNTS
The extract from Duperrey's memoir shows the commander's preoccupation with geography and hydrography. He identifies the main landmarks on the north-east coast, seen as La Coquille approached the Bay of Islands from the north. He records the establishment of an observatory near the ship's anchorage in the Bay and the fixing of its latitude and longitude. The surveys of the Bay by Bérard, Blois and Blosseville, referred to by Duperrey, provided the basis for the two charts of the Bay of Islands in 'Hydrographie. Atlas' (nos 19 and 20) in the officially sponsored publication Voyage autour du monde... sur... La Coquille; the first-named is reproduced at the end of the present book. The rest of the extract gives brief notes of meetings with Tuai and Hongi, the war expeditions of Hongi and Pomare, and the ill success of the missionaries in face of the superstitions and dedication to war of the Maoris. The extract as a whole conforms with the impression given by Duperrey's other writings that his achievement as an author was primarily in workmanlike factual exposition in the fields of physical geography and hydrography.
Dumont d'Urville's short essay, 'Voyage de M. Duperrey', fulfils his own description of it, that it embodies personal observations, mainly derived from conversations with Tuai and the missionary Thomas Kendall. Tuai, as chief of Paroa, near which the vessel of the French visitors lay, spent a great deal of time on board during the visit, and also conducted d'Urville through his big pa Kahuwera. D'Urville mentions a visit to the ship by Kendall and in a later work says that he was well received at Paihia, where Te Koki was chief, and at Matauwhi where Kendall was living under the protection of Pomare. 31 D'Urville therefore had good opportunities for securing information. His account is particularly valuable as it is not interlarded with a considerable amount of material derived from his reading of the accounts of previous visitors to the Bay, but is mainly a direct record of what he saw and heard. It exemplifies his tirelessness in pursuing information and his capacity for recording it in graceful prose.
The Lesson extract is the longest and most ambitious of the selections. Lesson was obviously a man of wide learning and cultivated mind. Apt classical quotations are interwoven in his narrative, which at times attains considerable literary power, as in his descriptions of the feminine invasion of the ship and of the prospect from the heights above Orokawa. Nor does he hesitate to express opinions, some of them arresting, others demonstrably off target. He tends to be over-cynical, and at times prejudiced. Moreover he had read numbers of accounts by
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previous visitors to New Zealand, and mingles paraphrases of passages from their writings with his own observations and comments. Nor is he always accurate in his paraphrases. But when he speaks of happenings during the visit, and aspects of Maori life, he shows himself on balance as a shrewd observer and commentator. More detailed evaluations of Lesson's observations and opinions are offered in the annotations to the extract. Records of Maori social customs in the early decades of European contact are all too few. In the annotations what appear to be weaknesses in Lesson's statements and opinions are pointed out, but apart from that he is permitted to have his say about them -- a procedure which does not necessarily mean that what he says is beyond controversy.
Blosseville's two short reports tell of his visits to Rangihoua, Te Puna and Kerikeri on 9-10 April and to Paihia and Matauwhi on 15 April, giving interesting glimpses of those places in 1824. The reports are typical of Blosseville's talent for smooth and effective exposition, exemplified also in manuscript notes in the Archives Nationales on other places visited during the voyage and a nautical and general journal, as well as a published article 'Mémoire géographique sur la Nouvelle Zélande' (Geographical Memoir on New Zealand), 32 including information derived at Port Jackson from mariners who had visited the South Island.
The main value of Duperrey's visit to New Zealand may well be considered to lie in the picture the accounts of it give of the impact of European arts, customs and beliefs on those of the Maori. In the fifty-five years since Cook's first visit to New Zealand the old Maori culture had undergone vast changes, and the revolution was accelerating. Introduced European diseases to which the Maori had little resistance were wreaking havoc. The musket was undermining the traditional Maori system of military offence and defence based on the fortified pa, which no longer offered security. The primitive food supply, based mainly on fern-root, sea-foods, and sweet potatoes, was being modified by the use of pigs, potatoes and other European vegetables, and grains. Canoes made with Stone Age tools were being modified by the incorporation of European innovations. Iron implements were revolutionising the Maori arts. The missionaries were working out their own economic adaptations and were on the eve of the long-drawn-out process of displacing the Maori's beliefs and customs in favour of their own. These and other changes, some not without promise of benefit, others calamitous to the Maori of the early nineteenth century and their descendants, are attested in the records of Duperrey's visit to New Zealand.
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In the official publication Voyage autour du monde... sur... La Coquille, 'Histoire du voyage. Atlas' (see Introduction, p 20) contained eight coloured plates (nos 40-47) relating to New Zealand. In the Library of the Service Hydrographique of the Ministère de la Marine a brief journal and 138 plates of drawings by Jules Lejeune, the expedition's artist, includes twelve plates relating to New Zealand. A comparison shows that six of the New Zealand plates in the published atlas, ascribed to Lejeune and Antoine Chazal, a contemporary French artist, incorporate nine of the twelve New Zealand plates accompanying Le Jeune's journal, some of the latter being combined in the atlas plates. Of the remaining two plates in the published atlas, one, ascribed to Chazal alone, shows 26 artefacts, evidently done by Chazal from artefacts brought back to France, the other, ascribed to Duperrey and Chazal, shows a house, tomb, and two idols. Thus Chazal, who had not been on the voyage, played a big part in the preparation of the illustrations for the published atlas! Three of the Le Jeune drawings accompanying the journal were not used in the published atlas; two of them are of New Zealand women, the third of artefacts, the reason for their omission no doubt being that a plate showing a New Zealand woman and a plate of artefacts were already chosen for inclusion in the published atlas. Lesson included in the account of his visit to New Zealand which forms part of the present work several illustrations of New Zealand scenes, personalities and artefacts; they add little of significance to the illustrations in the official published atlas and Le Jeune's atlas.
Six of the illustrations in Le Jeune's unpublished atlas are reproduced in the present volume. The two entitled 'Ecao Jeune fille de la Nlle Zealande' and 'Nlle Zélandaise, de 20 a 22 ans', and the untitled plate of artefacts, are the three New Zealand illustrations in the Le Jeune atlas which were not reproduced in the official published atlas. The illustration 'Naturels de la Nle Zélande', in which the standing figures are named 'Schoungie' (Hongi) and 'tooi' (Tuai), shows a disposition of the three portrayed figures differing from that in the illustration in the official published atlas (in which the seated figure is stated to be Tuai's brother). The illustration 'Habitants de la Nlle Zélande, avec une vue de leur place fortifié ou Hippah. -- 10 avril 1824' was no doubt drawn by Le Jeune as he, in company with Blosseville, was returning from Kerikeri on 10 April 1824 (see p 116). The illustration 'L'etablissement des Missionaires Anglais a Kidikidi. -- Nlle Zélande' gives an interestingly detailed view of the Kerikeri mission, forming the original from which the well-known illustration in the official published atlas was taken.