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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 (28 of 41) (FLI25)

Mrs Flinders
      Partney near Spilsby

Annotation: No 36         Sepr 19th 1808

                          Isle of France April 13 1808

    I wrote thee my dearest love two months by a friend going to Ame-
rica, and I now write thee again by a similar opportunity. No change
whatever has taken place in my situation since that time, and it is
evident that none will in consequence of the order which arrived here
in July last. I informed thee that I had written in October to the
marine minister of France, but whether another order will be sent
out is very uncertain; nor have I yet learned what steps Sir Edward
proposes to take on learning the obstinacy of general De Caën
to keep me, or what are his sentiments upon it, but by the return
of a French cartel from Calcutta, I expect to receive much infor-
      My friends have dissuaded me from throwing up my pa-
, and insist that I ought to consider myself free to all intents and
purposes without that, since the order of the French government to set
me at liberty has been communicated. In short, my love, I have
nothing certain to tell thee, except that my affection for thee, for my
friends, and my country remain, and ever will, unalterably the same.
      I continue to pursue the studies which have relation to
my voyage, with the intention of rendering it as useful as possible;
I enjoy good health, generally, and am happy in the good and kind
family where my fortunate stars first placed me on being liberated
from prison, as also in the favourable opinion and compassionating [sic]

sentiments of all who are acquainted with my situation.
      I have seen English papers up to near the end of October last,
in which I see the Bloodhound has had her share of activity; I hope
my brother still commands her if he has not gotten a better ship,
and that he will make something handsome and at the same time
distinguish himself.
      The last letters I have received from England were dated
in August 1806, and I much fear they will be the last for some time
Knowing that an order to set me at liberty had been sent out, thou
wouldst conclude me to be on my way home, and therefore cease
writing. The bearer of this, Mr John Exshaw, will write thee a line
from America to inform thee where to address my letters, and I beg
of thee to write and to collect letters from all my friends as soon after
as possible; for it is much to be feared, that I may be yet here many
months; and the greatest consolation I can enjoy here is to receive
letters from thee, my love, and my friends in England.
      Pray write a line also to Sir Joseph Banks, giving him the
address in America, and saying how much I desire to have a letter
from him, having received only that dated in June 1805. Many
promotions have taken place since my absence, but I have no hope
of being included in any before my return; and I fear, that those
^ who were with me will remain in the same predicament. If, however, I should

succeed in making the admiralty sensible how unjustly I have been
treated, I may perhaps attain my promotion from the date of my
      Governor King will be arrived in England before this
time. If thou canst find occasion, I should much wish thou wouldst
see him and Mrs King. It may be in his power to do much with the
ministry in my favour, and thy presence and intreaty would great-
ly stimulate him; and although, should a gleam of good fortune
attend me, his exertions may be too late to operate my deliverance,
they will nevertheless be highly favourable to me on my return; I con-
sider him to be one of the most zealous of my friends.
      I am at present with our family on a visit to
some relations in another district of the island, called Moka, where,
as every where else, I am treated with friendship and a compassio-
nate distinction. My friend Pitot visits me every month, and conti-
nues to prove himself the sincere and affectionate friend I have
ever found him.
      The voyage of Mons. Baudin is in publication. I am cu-
rious to know how the work will speak of me and the treatment he
received at Port Jackson. The contrast between his and my reception is
so great, that some management will be required not to expose French
honour to much criticism.
      Adieu, my dearest, my best love. Remember me most af-
fectionately to all the members of thy and my family, and rest con-
fident in the inviolable affection and friendship of thy
                      Mattw Flinders

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Related people
Chappelle (Flinders), Ann
Pellew, (Admiral) Edward, Viscount Exmouth
De Caen, Charles Mathieu Isadore
Flinders, Samuel
Banks, Sir Joseph
King, Philip Gidley King
Pitot, Thomas
Baudin, Nicolas
Tyler, (Reverend) William
Flinders family
Flinders, Matthew
Riviere, Viscount de

Ile de France (Mauritius)
Port Jackson


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