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The Flinders papersletters and documents about the explorer Matthew Flinders (1774-1814)
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Letter from Matthew Flinders to Ann Flinders (31 of 41) (FLI25) Page 1

Mrs Ann Flinders
      Partney near Spilsby

Annotation: No 39           June 7th 1810

                    Isle of France August 3. 1809

It is still thy letter of July 15 and 18. 1806, my best love, and still from this place
that I have to answer. It is one effect of the fatality that seems to be attached to all my efforts to
procure liberation, that it is now our own countrymen, probably at least, who prevent the arrival
of a second order from the French government; by which I hoped to be either set at liberty, or
sent to France. Two copies of my memorial to the marine minister arrived ^ there in the beginning
of this year; but particularly the last, which was accompanied by letters from me to Messieurs
de Fleurieu, de Bougainville, and Bergeret, and by others from my friends here to other consi-
derable persons in or near the government. These were carried by a young officer of the navy,
who had shewn a zeal, an enthusiasm in my cause, and an attachment for me, that nothing
could exceed. His name is Charles Baudin, and he made part of the expedition commanded
by his name sake. He is son of a deceased member of the National Institute, who was instru-
mental in placing Bonaparte at the head of government. He is patronised by this chief, who
gave him a pension from his private purse, until he was promoted to be Enseigne de vaisseau. He had
the misfortune to lose an arm, and to be otherwise dangerously wounded in an action between la Se-
and the Terpsichore; and on this account he returned to France, a passenger on board la
Semillante, which had been disabled and sold to the merchants: On his arrival, he was promoted, &
made a member of the legion of honour. On receiving this intelligence, I conceived much hopes that
my memorial, supported by its accompanying letters, and by this and other friends, would procure
for me at least an order so positive for my transmission to France, that general de Caen would
no longer be able to resist; and that this order would arrive by the first ship. But for these last
three months, the island has been so closely blocked by our squadron from the Cape, that not one
of the many ships expected from France has been able to get in; so that I am totally in the dark
as to whether an order has, or has not been given. Probably several of these ships have been taken,
we know indeed positively of one, for it was by a female passenger landed from it, that we learned
the arrival of La Semillante; but all the public despatches would doubtless have been thrown
overboard, and my liberty with them; so that my sole hope now is, that a duplicate of the order,
if issued, may have been sent by the French government to our Admiralty, who may have for-
warded it by a flag of truce, as was done by the first order. Some flags of truce have indeed
come in from the cruizing squadron some time since; and I know that several offers have
been made to obtain my liberty; amongst others, the captain of La Piémontaise, though of superior
rank, has been offered in exchange. There is a possibility, that the last flag of truce, which
came in about six weeks ago, might have brought some order to general De Caen concerning me:

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Related people
Chappelle (Flinders), Ann
Fleurieu, Charles Pierre Claret, Comte de
Bougainville, Louis Antoine, Comte de
Bergeret, (Captain)
Baudin, Charles
Baudin, Nicolas
Bonaparte (Buonaparte), Napoléon.
De Caen, Charles Mathieu Isadore
Flinders, Matthew
Flinders family
Monistrol, (Colonel)
Riviere, Viscount de

Ile de France (Mauritius)
Cape of Good Hope

La Semillante
Piedmontaise (Piémontaise)

Words and phrases

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