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The Flinders papersletters and documents about the explorer Matthew Flinders (1774-1814)
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Papers relating to Flinders' Career: Memoir of official services (1 of 2) (FLI05) Page 2

July 1801, he sailed from England in the Investigator, a bark of 334 tons,
with a French paƒs to secure the rights of science, in case of war. In this
ship he nearly circumnavigated the whole coast of Australia, under circum=
=stances which often required a very unusual exertion of vigilance and
skill, – while his care & attention to the diet & health of his crew,
were a theme of general praise.
      In June 1803, the Investigator was condemned at Port Jackson, as
not sea-worthy, & Captain Flinders embarked with his officers & crew in
two veƒsels bound for India, which were both unfortunately wrecked upon a
coral reef, 700 miles from land. Here the Captain displayed an admirable
exhibition of method, & self-poƒseƒsion; & having made every ar=
=rangement for the maintenance of order during his absence, left the reef
in a small open boat to procure aƒsistance at Port Jackson. By his means &
energy, the whole of the crews were preserved.
      In order to convey home his specimens & papers, he left Port
Jackson in an ill-conditioned schooner of only 29 tons, called the Cumberland.
Having croƒsed the Indian Ocean, ignorant of the renewal of hostilities between
England & France, & relying on his French paƒs, he boldly entered Port Louis,
in Mauritius. But General De Caen instantly seized the veƒsel & papers, and
declared Flinders & his people to be prisoners of war. This disgraceful act, with
the brutal severity of treatment which followed, created that uneasineƒs of
mind which undermined the Captain's health, & had the effect of rapidly
shortening his valuable life.
      After lingering six years in captivity, he was liberated, & reached
England at the end of the year 1810, – when he found that his discoveries were
published in France as Baudin's, every point & port re-named, & the

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Related people
Flinders, Matthew
Pasley, Thomas
Bligh, William
Howe, Richard (Lord Howe)
Flinders, Matthew
Bass, George
Banks, Sir Joseph
De Caen, Charles Mathieu Isadore
Baudin, Nicolas
Vancouver, George
Chappelle (Flinders), Ann
Petrie, Ann

Port Jackson
Bass Strait
Wreck Reef
Ile de France (Mauritius)


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