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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 (32 of 41) (FLI25) Page 2

more from his exertions, than perhaps some information of the reasons that have
been made a pretext for prolonging my detention.
      In answer to my memorial to the French marine minister, and to all the letters
written by me and others to France, I have learnt no more than what one of the gentle-
men informed me some time since from the officer of the government to whom he had
written in my favour. The extract of the letter of this officer, dated Paris March 28
1809, is as follows —
      "I have received, my friend, your letter of Oct. 28/1808/, as also those of
" Mr Flinders. I immediately went to the marine minister, who is well acquainted with
"the affair of that stranger; and he told me, that orders to set him at liberty had been
"sent to the captain-general, and that they had been certainly received. The conversation
"was sufficiently particular for me to be able to assure you, that this navigator is much
"esteemed, but I have no means of guaranteeing the efficacity [sic] of the step he has taken."
The minister was well acquainted with my affair, because he had received my memorial;
and he knew from the same source, that the orders sent out neither had, or would be
put into execution. From the whole tenor of this equivocal answer, I judge, that my im-
prisonment is made subservient to some intrigues, which have for object the overthrowing
of general De Caën, to whom the minister is known to be inimical: This, however, is
only conjecture.
      There was much talk here three or four months since, of an attack meditated
by the English government upon the Isles of France and Bourbon; and at that time I
received an order from the captain-general not to quit the plantation of Madame
D'Arifat. I should treat this order very lightly did any important circumstance call
me beyond the bounds of the plantation; but as my situation requires that I should give
no plea for worse treatment than I have yet received, prudence has made ^ me hitherto con-
form to it pretty strictly.
      I learned by the cartel, that Mr Robertson had returned to India; but I
had no letter from him or from James Franklin: a person who saw Mr Robertson
told me, that thou wast well when Mr R. left England; but at what epoch this
was I could not learn. This, my love, is all that I have heard of thee since the
reception of thy letter dated in June 1806, and a long and cruel silence it has been,

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Related people
Chappelle (Flinders), Ann
Hope, Hugh
De Caen, Charles Mathieu Isadore
Bonaparte (Buonaparte), Napoléon.
Flinders, Matthew
Franklin family
Flinders, Elizabeth
Franklin, John
Flinders, Samuel
Hippins family
Banks, Sir Joseph
Riviere, Viscount de

Ile de France (Mauritius)
Cape of Good Hope

Words and phrases

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