Abel Tasman (1603-1659) was a Dutch explorer and merchant who worked for the Dutch East India Company and whose ship was the first known European vessel to discover (in 1642) the island now called Tasmania after him, and then New Zealand a few weeks later. Two years later, during a second voyage, he mapped part of the North coast of Australia. In 1647 he led a diplomatic mission to the King Of Siam (now Thailand). A year later he was in charge of an unsuccessful attempt to intercept and loot Spanish ships bringing bullion from the Americas to Spain. The following year he was suspended from his official posts with the Dutch East India Company because he had hanged a sailor without trial, but he was reinstated in 1651. In 1940 New Zealand issued a set of stamps to mark 100 Years of British sovereignty, and Tasman featured on one of them, SG 114.
The name of the explorer Captain Cook (1728-1779) will be familiar to most of you. During his first exploratory voyage his fleet reached, and mapped most of the coast of, New Zealand, which had not been visited by European ships since the time of Abel Tasman in the mid-17th century. Hence he appears on a stamp from the 1940 New Zealand set marking 100 years of British sovereignty - SG 112.
Captain James Cook (17289-1779) was one of the great 18th century explorers. In 1978 the USA issued a pair of stamps for the bicentenary of his visit to Hawaii and Alaska. SG 1709 has a portrait of him.
Jacques Cartier (1491-1557) was a French explorer of Breton origin who is best known for his exploration and mapping of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence in Canada. Canada partly at least owes its name to him: he named the area the country of Canadas after the Iroquois names for settlements at what are now Quebec and Montreal. In 1984 France issued a stamp, SG 2623, for the 450th anniversary of his first voyage to Canada.
René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle (1643-87) was a French explorer of North America. Born in Rouen, he joined the Jesuits and went under their auspices to Canada, but was released from his vows because of "moral weaknesses", probably a liaison with a female French settler with whom his name was subsequently linked. Almost destitute - he had to renounce his inheritance when he became a Jesuit - he was granted land in the Montreal area, but sold his rights to help finance explorations in North America. He helped negotiate a trading agreement between the French and the Iroquois. He founded a series of forts in the Great Lakes area, in what are now Illinois and Ohio, and along the Mississippi, and, after canoeing down the Mississippi, claimed the entire Mississippi river basin for France, naming the whole area Louisiana after Louis XIV. He made efforts to learn some of the languages of the native people, including Mohawk and Iroquois, and to establish friendly relations with them. He received a grant of nobility in the mid-1670s. La Salle was murdered by Pierre Duhaut, a merchant-trader, in 1687, during another expedition on the Mississippi. In 1982 France issued SG 2553 to mark the 300th anniversary of La Salle's first expedition to the huge area he named Louisiana.
Jean-François de Galaup, comte de La Pérouse (1741 to probably 1788) was a French naval officer and explorer. He fought against the British in the Seven Years' War (1756-63) and the American War of Independence. In 1785 Louis XVI put him in charge of an expedition to circumnavigate the globe, with the main aim of building on the Pacific explorations of Captain Cook. His expedition disappeared in Oceania in 1788 after leaving Botany Bay in New South Wales. The French tried at various times to establish what had happened, but it was not until 1827 that the remains of the two expedition ships were found in the area of the Solomon Islands. They had been wrecked in a storm. It seems that survivors from one ship were massacred, while those from the other sailed away in a small boat and were never traced. A suburb of Sydney, New South Wales is named after La Pérouse. France SG 2817 of 1988.
Louis Antoine de Bougainville (1729-1811) was a French naval officer who fought against the British in the Seven Years' War and the American War of Independence, but is best remembered as an explorer. He circumnavigated the globe between 1766 and 1769. On this expedition was a botanist, Philibert Commerçon, who named the Bougainvillea genus of plants native to South America after Bougainville, and Commerçon's assistant and lover, Jeanne Baré, also a botanical expert in her own right, who sailed disguised as a man and was the first known woman to complete a circumnavigation. Bougainville discovered the largest Eastern island in what is now Papua New Guinea and called it Bougainville Island, a name it has retained. Bougainville's account of the voyage was published in 1771 and depicted Tahiti as an earthly paradise where people lived in innocence, uncorrupted by the trappings of "civilisation": it did much to popularise the idea of the noble savage and influenced the philosopher Rousseau. France SG 2819 of 1988.
Jules Dumont d'Urville (1790-1842) was another French naval officer and explorer, whose name will be familiar to any of you who are doyens of matters Antarctic. From 1822 to 1825 he was second-in-command of an expedition circumnavigating the globe. In 1826 he embarked as commander of an expedition on the same ship, now renamed the Astrolabe, which mapped parts of New Zealand, and discovered the wrecks from the doomed expedition of La Pérouse (see the preceding post but one in this thread). It was he who first named Melanesia and Micronesia. A prodigious linguist, he was able to acquire some knowledge of many island dialects in the Pacific. In 1837 he was put in charge of another expedition, this time with the objective of claiming the South magnetic pole for France. He sailed well into the Weddell Sea. He was trapped more than once in pack ice. Scurvy among the crew compelled him to sail to Chile in early 1838. He went on to do further explorations in the Polynesia and reached Hobart, Tasmania in December 1839. At the start of 1840 the expedition sailed back to Antarctica, making more discoveries, and undertaking experiments to establish the position of the South magnetic pole. He returned to France in December that year, and was promoted to rear-admiral in recognition of his explorations. In May 1842 Dumont d'Urville and all his family were killed in the first French railway disaster, returning to Paris from seeing water games at Versailles: the train derailed and carriages caught fire; the passengers had been locked in their carriages and this meant there were far more deaths than there need have been - estimates vary, but between 52 and some 200 people died and hundreds were injured. The practice of locking railway carriages was stopped in France after this accident. Dumont suffered from serious ill-health most of his life, and it is a wonder he managed so much. He also appears to have been something of an eccentric, at times unsociable and not always attentive to medical advice or personal hygiene. He wrote what is probably the first novel which has Maori characters. Among other places the D'Urville Sea off Antarctica and two D'Urville Islands, one off Antarctica and one in New Zealand, are named after him, as are a street in Paris and a French scientific research station in Antarctica. France SG 2820 of 1988.
This year, 2015, South Georgia and the South Sandwich islands issued a set of stamps featuring explorers and scientists. Here is Bill Tilman (1898-1977), who mountaineered between the two World Wars, and, after WW2, took up voyaging to the Arctic and Antarctic. His last voyage, as a crew member, was at the age of almost 80, and his ship vanished between Rio de Janeiro and the Falkland Islands/Malvinas, with everyone on board presumed drowned. During WW2 he fought behind enemy lines with Italian and Albanian partisans.
Last Edit: Nov 25, 2015 10:12:47 GMT -5 by Deleted
Pedro Fernandes de Queirós (1565-1614) was a Portuguese navigator and explorer. In 1595 he took part in a voyage to establish a Spanish settlement on the Solomon Islands. From 1605 to 1606 he led another expedition, with the hope of claiming the widely-believed-in Southern continent for Spain, discovering the New Hebrides which he wrong believed to be part of the continent. His attempt to found a colony there failed within weeks. He also discovered various other Pacific islands, including one of the Pitcairn Islands, which issued this stamp in 1967 showing him and one of his ships, the San Pedro y Pablo.
The French explorer Samuel de Champlain (born c.1567, died in 1635). He founded Quebec City and New France (which at its greatest extent covered much of Eastern Canada and of the USA). Here he is on a 1956 French semi-postal.
Matthew Flinders (1774-1814) on a 1980 Australia Day stamp. He was the first recorded person to circumnavigate Australia. During one of his voyages, he was shipwrecked on Mauritius and, because the Napoleonic Wars were raging, was held for a time as a prisoner by the French, who ruled Mauritius (called then the Isle de France) at the time. The Flinders Mountains are named after him, as is Flinders Bay in Western Australia.
Samuel de Champlain (d. 1635), the French explorer who founded Quebec City and did so much to open up large tracts of North America to Europeans, on a 1958 Canadian stamp. The Heights of Quebec are in the background.
La Vérendrye (1685-1749) on a Canadian stamp of 1958. He was a Quebec-born army officer, fur trader and explorer whose explorations West off Lake Superior led to the substantial westward expansion of New France; he was also the first known person of European ancestry to reach North Dakota and the upper Missouri, and in the 1740s two of his sons were the first recorded people of European origin to see the Rockies north of New Mexico.
Sir Martin Frobisher (d. 1594) on a 1963 Canadian stamp. He led three expeditions to North America, looking for the NW passage to the Pacific, to the north of the continent. On his second voyage, he discovered what he thought was a valuable gold deposit at what was called after him Frobisher Bay on the coast if Baffin Island, and returned with a larger fleet to exploit it, only to realise it was just iron pyrites. Like many English explorers in the reign of Elizabeth I, he was also a privateer. During the 1588 attack by the Spanish armada, he commanded one of the English squadrons, and was subsequently knighted for his role.
Jean Charcot (1867-1936) on a 1961 stamp, issued for the 25th anniversary of his death, from the French Southern and Antarctic Territories. In his youth he was a prominent sportsperson - a rugby champion in 1896, and a silver medalist in sailing at the 1900 Olympics. He was an explorer and one of his ships was the first French ship to winter in the Antarctic in 1905. He continued exploring in Antarctic waters for several years, and an island he discovered is named after him. During WW1 he served as a doctor in the French marines and then took a leading part in anti-submarine warfare. After the Armistice he joined the French naval reserve, becoming captain of a frigate in 1923, and making geological expeditions to the North Atlantic. In 1925 he was retired from the naval reserve. He continued to make expeditions to the North Atlantic and the Arctic. In 1936 his ship sank during a violent storm north of Iceland, with the loss of everyone on board.
Last Edit: Jun 21, 2017 11:20:47 GMT -5 by Deleted
Yves-Joseph de Kerguelen-Trémarec (1734-1797) on a 1960 stamp from the French Southern and Antarctic Territories. In 1772 he was put in charge of an expedition to discover the supposed Terra Australis (a large southern continent whose existence was postulated from the time of Aristotle, if not earlier). he discovered the Kerguelen Islands - a major part of the French Southern and Antarctic Territories - but exaggerated their potential in his report to Louis XV. Louis, encouraged by the report, sent him on a second expedition to the Islands but when it became clear, on Kerguelen-Tremarec's return, that the islands were bleak places with little obvious economic advantage and were not part off the fabled continent, Kerguelen-Tremarec was thrown into prison. He was freed after the Revolution, treated as a victim of the ancient regime, restored to his naval rank, and rose to the rank of Rear Admiral, having taken part in a major sea battle in 1795, the Battle of Groix in the Bay of Biscay in which the French were defeated by the British.
Last Edit: Jun 21, 2017 11:19:40 GMT -5 by Deleted
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