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The Flinders papersletters and documents about the explorer Matthew Flinders (1774-1814)
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Handwritten extract from the Madras Gazette of March 15 1806 (FLI07) Page 2

follows, our circumstances at that moment, in order the more decidedly to impreƒs
the Administrators General of the Isles of France and Reunion with the hospitality
of his reception at such a crisis, no information, no information of a peace ar-
-riving until their sick were recovered, their veƒsels repaired, their stock
embarked, their ships upon the very point of sailing. "Upon our arrival at Port Jackson, the sources of the colony were by no means abundant, and supplies
uncertain. The arrival, then, of 170 men could not be supposed a very agreeable
circumstance: neverthleƒs we were amply provided; and as soon as our arrival
and wants were known, a retrenchment of the daily ration was adopted, in
proportion to the number of the inhabitants and the garrison of the Colony; His
Excellency giving the example: and by these measures, equally honorable to
humanity as to himself, we have experienced comforts here which perhaps
we should elsewhere have obtained with difficulty."
      It is worthy to remark, though no circumstance inferior to the pre-
-sent could poƒsibly have provoked the mention, that upon the arrival of
these veƒsels thissettlement was already upona reduced ration, with not more than 30
weeks provision upon the already reduced quota; and that neverthleƒs
every self-consideration gave way to hospitality; the Officers of the several
Establishments relinquished every claim upon the stores; and not a single
murmer [sic] or complaint was heard from the most menial servant of the
Crown at an additional retrenchment, by such an occasion rendered neceƒsary.
      It is well known, that the crews of those veƒsels were exempted from
many local restrictions; andthat notwithstanding the doubts entertained of the
turbulent spirit which unhappily manifested itself last March twelve
months the Government, confiding in its own effective strength and energy,
and the loyalty of the generality of the inhabitants, permitted the strangers
many indulgence, they had no room to expect. —— The General Hospital
was opened to the sick, who were comparatively numerous, and the Medical
Staff, co-operating with the gentlemen belonging to the expedition, were
happy in the consciousneƒs of having aƒsisted in restoring health to the afflic-
-ted. ——- Captain Flinders, on the contrary, was not even granted the benefit
of air and moderate exercise, though represented as neceƒsary to his recovery
from a malady brought on by close imprisonment and rigorous treatment. We do not
presume to arraign or even to question the motive of General De Caen — The
transaction must very shortly be developed to the nations of Europe; and they
will determine how far national honor was to give way to a system of
policy, the ends of which we are not capable of fathoming.
      The conduct of the officers who have interested themselves on behalf of
Captain Flinders, insures them the grateful respect of every British subject;
and the more especially as their honorable interposition, although failing
in its material end, has nevertheleƒs been succeƒsful in alleviating the suf-
-ferings of our countryman, whose deliverance, we sincerely hope, may
not be very distant.

                  Copied June 20 1806 — Isle of France

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

Wreck Reef
Ile de France (Mauritius)
Port Jackson


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