Browse the documents Browse the documents Search
Advanced search
The Flinders papersletters and documents about the explorer Matthew Flinders (1774-1814)
You are here: Flinders > Browse the Documents > Documents > Documents
All pages | 1 | 2 | Back to Index

Handwritten extract from the Madras Gazette of March 15 1806 (FLI07) Page 1

      No circumstance could poƒsibly lay claim to a greater portion of attention, or
more sensibly have affected the feelings of the reader, than the very interesting re-
-lation contained in last week's Gazette, relative to the misfortunes that have befal-
-len Captain Flinders, since his departure from this Colony.
      The indefatigable and perilous exertions of that enterprising Officer, whose
labours conduce equally to the honor of the British Empire, and the general interests
of mankind, have already obtained to him that eminence which unexampled
perseverance in a dangerous pursuit could only have acquired. His succeƒses in
discovery have considerably extended and improved the navigation of these seas;
and every Navigator must lament a circumstance that tends to retard the
progres [sic] of the sciences, or to restrain the generous ardour of an enterprising ge-
-nius. —— What, then, must be the sensation of his countrymen, when his
indignant reception and injurious treatment at the Isle of France shall be made
knownto them and how, too, must the whole Gallic Empire condemn a breach of hospi-
-tality and unprecedented violation of the paƒsport granted by its government,
when contrasted with acknowledged benefits received by Monsieur Baudin and his
expedition on his arrival, and during the whole term of its remaining here?
      To question the identity of Captain Flinders' person, and upon that doubt
alone to ground the basis of insult and reproach, was indefensible to common
justice, but even this very plea of doubt must vanish into subterfuge, when
when it is remembered, that his paƒsport was backed with every thing
requisite to establish its validity, and to recommend him to the friendship
and protection of an honourable Power. Independent of his charts and other
important papers saved from the wreck, Captain Flinders had also a
numberof Gazettes, in which were circumstantially detailed the misfortune
of Wreck Reef, and also the circumstance of his re-embarking for
Great Britain in the Cumberland, a veƒselof only 20 tons. Captain Flinders
sailed on the 27th of September, 1803, at which time the Powers were supposed
to be at amity, as no circumstance had transpired that could suggest the
poƒsibility of a recommencement of hostilities: nor were we here apprised of
the disagreeable event until by the accidental arrival of the American ship
Paterson, Captain Aborn, from New Providence, on the 24th November, an in-
-terval of nearly two whole months. Captain Flinders, then, put into the
Isle of France from actual neceƒsity and distreƒs, not doubting the relief to which
his paƒsport from the French Government entitled him — but his Veƒsel, his peo-
-ple, his books and papers, himself was seized by order of an Officer whose actions
were to go to the national account, and either extremplify [sic] the hospitality, or stig-
-matize with ingratitude and injustice an extensive Empire, heretofore considered hono-
-rable as acknowledged brave.
      On the other hand, the Naturaliste and Geographe made this port at a time
when war was still supposed to subsist; and that juncture, such was the liberality
of our Government to the Officers commanding the expedition and their crews, as
to call forth every honorable acknowledgement that the most refined and exalted
sense of obligation could have inspired. M. Baudin, after declaring his obligations
to His Majesty's government in this colony, to which the expedition arrived in a
state of extreme distreƒs, and confeƒsing himself happy in having "made choice
"of this Port in preference to any other," proceeds pathetically to describe, as

All pages | 1 | 2 | Back to Index
View Print Friendly Version

Related people
Flinders, Matthew
Baudin, Nicolas
De Caen, Charles Mathieu Isadore

Wreck Reef
Ile de France (Mauritius)
Port Jackson


Related Documents
Other documents written in 1806