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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 (19 of 41) Rough translation of Pitot's letter to the French astronomer De Lalande (FLI25) Page 1

      The constant enthusiasm that you have displayed throughout your active and glorious career for the growth and promotion of the Sciences, allows me, although I do not have the honour of knowing you personally, to ask of your humanity a favour for which I shall be eternally grateful, and which I dare to assure you, can only acquire you more recognition from all civilised nations.
      It is on behalf of Captain Flinders that I humbly request you, Sir, to use your influence and that of your friends. It is for this interesting and very unfortunate navigator that I beg you to obtain recognition from the French Government, a favour he has entrusted to a friend to submit. He has been accused of having hostile intentions on arriving in this colony, and after having languished, as a consequence of this wrongdoing, for 15 months in irons, he still sees with desperation, that nothing announces the time when his misfortune will end. I beg of you, Sir, to join together with those persons in Paris who are interested in having him judged, to demonstrate his innocence and to enable him to again resume a career in which he has already rendered very important services to geography and navigation.
      I don't need to retrace at length the series of misfortunes he has suffered, and to which his strong character, love of his country, and desire for glory have prevented him from succumbing. The scientists who were part of the expedition commanded by Mr Baudin have made known most of it in Europe; his captivity itself has not been ignored, and I have seen in a Moniteur of 22 Messidor 1812 the motives behind his detention.
      Deign, Sir, to be receptive to my requests; deign to make all efforts to contributing to putting an end to so many misfortunes; no one but you can appreciate Monsieur Flinders. And I can assure you that if he obtains passage to France, if you permit him to see you, he will enlighten your esteemed colleagues during his stay in Paris; Believe me , Sir, you will congratulate yourself for having made the acquaintance of a navigator so interesting and so worthy of your esteem and of your friendship.
      I take the liberty of addressing by the same occasion to Mr Bougainville a detailed letter on the same subject. The relationship which friendship and the sciences have established between that illustrious navigator and you, make me hope that he will communicate with you: It will serve, Sir, to demonstrate to you the innocence of Mr Flinders and to increase your interest in his state.
      I have the honour to be, with respect and feeling, Sir, your very humble and very obedient servant.         C T Pitot

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Related people
Flinders, Matthew
Baudin, Nicolas
Bougainville, Louis Antoine, Comte de
Pitot, Thomas

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