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Lesueur, naturalist, artist and explorer

Antilles

Antilles

Lorsque Lesueur et Maclure font escale aux Antilles fin décembre 1815, Lesueur dessine des plantations : on...

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England

England

Expedition to Terra Australis

Expedition to Terra Australis

In October 1800 the Géographe and the Naturaliste left the port of Le Havre with a team of two hundred,...

Scope note

Geographe Bay

Geographe Bay

To make up for the delays experienced on the African coasts, Baudin took the boats around the western coasts...

Scope note

Life on board

Life on board

Nearly two hundred people, some forty of whom were savants, embarked on the expedition. Life on board became...

Scope note

Napoleon Land

Napoleon Land

On the 8th and 9th of April, in Rencontre Bay, Baudin crossed paths with the Englishman Flinders, on the...

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New Harmony

New Harmony

New Harmony was founded in 1814 by George Rapp. The land was later sold to Scottish industrialist Robert...

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New Orleans

New Orleans

Lesueur regularly travelled down the Mississippi to New Orléans.

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New York region

New York region

Lesueur reached New York on May 10th 1816 and settled in Philadelphia.

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Philadelphia

Philadelphia

Lesueur spent almost ten years in Philadelphia, where he was introduced to many scientists by William Maclure.

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Port-Jackson

Port-Jackson

On their arrival at Port Jackson, there were only four men on the Géographe who were capable of manoeuvring...

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Steamboats

Steamboats

From the day he reached the United States in 1816, Lesueur took a keen interest in steamboats, on behalf of...

Scope note

Stopover at Tenerife

Stopover at Tenerife

The Canary Islands were a usual port of call on circumnavigations. After thirteen days at sea, the Géographe...

Scope note

Stopover in South Africa – The Cape: January 1804

Stopover in South Africa – The Cape: January 1804

The Dutch authorities at the Cape welcomed the boats and gave them provisions. On their departure the...

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Stopover on the Island of France

Stopover on the Island of France

Five months after leaving Le Havre the ships arrived on the Island of France. The vessels were in need of...

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Tasmania

Tasmania

The boats left Timor for Van Diemen’s Land on 13 November 1801. Close to twenty people on each boat were...

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Three months in Timor

Three months in Timor

The stopover in Timor was a long one, due to the bad state of repair of the boats and the poor health of the...

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Charles Alexandre Lesueur (1 January 1778 in Le Havre – 12 December 1846 in Le Havre) was a French naturalist, artist and explorer.

Expedition to Terra Australis (1800-1804)

In October 1800 the Géographe and the Naturaliste left the port of Le Havre with a team of two hundred, including some twenty savants. They were headed for Australia, known then as New Holland. This scientific expedition, endorsed by Napoleon Bonaparte had three objectives: to complete the charting of the coast of Australia, to create an inventory of animal and plant species and to document and draw the inhabitants they came across.

The expedition was outstanding from a scientific perspective, but over the four years, with navigational problems, unsanitary conditions and disease there was considerable loss of life amongst the crew and the savants. Even the expedition commander himself, Nicolas Baudin, died in Mauritius on 16 September 1803. However the wealth of scientific knowledge was exceptional. From then the coasts of southern Australia were charted, and more than 100,000 specimens were taken back, including live animals and plants that were housed at the National Museum of Natural History in Paris and at Malmaison chateau, the residence of Josephine Bonaparte. The non-living specimens and the drawings done on the expedition are today mostly in the collections of the Natural History Museum in Paris and the Natural History Museum in Le Havre.

21 years in the USA

Between 1815 and 1837 he lived in the United States. In 1833, he visited Vincennes, Indiana, where he sketched the first known drawing of Grouseland, the mansion of William Henry Harrison. The mansion is today a National Historic Landmark.

In the years 1825–1837 Lesueur lived in New Harmony, Indiana, where he filled sketchbooks full of the finds discovered during the utopian adventure funded by his friend William Maclure. He drew the boat "Philanthropist", which arrived full of intellectuals who came to live in the small town of New Harmony, on the Wabash River. He took research trips and sketched the people and the small towns in the area. Indeed, Lesueur sent specimens of unique fish, animals and fossils, as well as artifacts he had dug from the Indian Mounds in New Harmony back to France, where they remain.

Antilles

Lorsque Lesueur et Maclure font escale aux Antilles fin décembre 1815, Lesueur dessine des plantations : on y reconnaît des esclaves noirs. Les bords de mer constituent un lieu intense de collecte d’animaux marins et l’intérieur des terres dévoile des roches volcaniques et basaltiques.

Expedition to Terra Australis

In October 1800 the Géographe and the Naturaliste left the port of Le Havre with a team of two hundred, including some twenty savants. They were headed for Australia, known then as New Holland.

Geographe Bay

To make up for the delays experienced on the African coasts, Baudin took the boats around the western coasts of Australia, rather than going via Tasmania as had initially been planned. The crossing was punctuated by violent storms.

Life on board

Nearly two hundred people, some forty of whom were savants, embarked on the expedition. Life on board became increasingly difficult, with the lack of experience of a large number of the crew in addition to the bad weather conditions.

Napoleon Land

On the 8th and 9th of April, in Rencontre Bay, Baudin crossed paths with the Englishman Flinders, on the Investigator. Flinders was ahead of Baudin in the exploration of the south coast. At age 27, he was leading his third voyage on the coasts of southern Australia. The two captains exchanged some of their cartographic information. Flinders suggested that Baudin make a stopover in Port Jackson for supplies: their provisions had almost run out and the little they had had gone off.

New Harmony

New Harmony was founded in 1814 by George Rapp. The land was later sold to Scottish industrialist Robert Owen. Almost 600 people lived there. Lesueur settled in New Harmony in 1826, introduced by William Maclure, Robert Owen's major business partner at the time. Lesueur dedicated his time to establish natural history collections to teach the younger members of the community.

New Orleans

Lesueur regularly travelled down the Mississippi to New Orléans.

New York region

Lesueur reached New York on May 10th 1816 and settled in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia

Lesueur spent almost ten years in Philadelphia, where he was introduced to many scientists by William Maclure.

Port-Jackson

On their arrival at Port Jackson, there were only four men on the Géographe who were capable of manoeuvring the ship, aided by English sailors who came aboard. The Naturaliste arrived eleven days later. They were welcomed and assisted by Governor King, and the sick were able to get better. They stayed for five months.

Steamboats

From the day he reached the United States in 1816, Lesueur took a keen interest in steamboats, on behalf of his father Jean-Baptiste Lesueur, a shipowner from Le Havre, who wished to create a steamboat company on the river Seine. Lesueur sailed on several steamboats during his interstate travels – mostly on the Ohio, Wabash, and Mississippi rivers – for his scientific research.

Stopover at Tenerife

The Canary Islands were a usual port of call on circumnavigations. After thirteen days at sea, the Géographe and the Naturaliste called in at Santa Cruz in Tenerife, and were welcomed by the local dignitaries.

Stopover in South Africa – The Cape: January 1804

The Dutch authorities at the Cape welcomed the boats and gave them provisions. On their departure the Governor gave them natural history specimens for Madame Bonaparte and for the French National Institute. Here also, the local people gave them animals in exchange for various objects such as pins, weapons and mirrors.

Stopover on the Island of France

Five months after leaving Le Havre the ships arrived on the Island of France. The vessels were in need of repair. Baudin had trouble obtaining supplies, already deferred from Tenerife. Some forty men deserted the expedition, including the three illustrators Milbert, Lebrun and Garnier.

Tasmania

The boats left Timor for Van Diemen’s Land on 13 November 1801. Close to twenty people on each boat were sick, and they were mourning the deaths of the zoologists Levillain and Mauger and the assistant gardiner Sautier.

Three months in Timor

The stopover in Timor was a long one, due to the bad state of repair of the boats and the poor health of the men. The expedition was welcomed by the Dutch governor in the small town at the Bay of Kupang. The fertile landscape there was a contrast to the western coasts of Australia. However the humid climate was hard to bear and they continued to suffer from scurvy and dysentery.

Antilles

Antilles

Lorsque Lesueur et Maclure font escale aux Antilles fin décembre 1815, Lesueur dessine des plantations : on...

Scope note

England

England

Expedition to Terra Australis

Expedition to Terra Australis

In October 1800 the Géographe and the Naturaliste left the port of Le Havre with a team of two hundred,...

Scope note

Geographe Bay

Geographe Bay

To make up for the delays experienced on the African coasts, Baudin took the boats around the western coasts...

Scope note

Life on board

Life on board

Nearly two hundred people, some forty of whom were savants, embarked on the expedition. Life on board became...

Scope note

Napoleon Land

Napoleon Land

On the 8th and 9th of April, in Rencontre Bay, Baudin crossed paths with the Englishman Flinders, on the...

Scope note

New Harmony

New Harmony

New Harmony was founded in 1814 by George Rapp. The land was later sold to Scottish industrialist Robert...

Scope note

New Orleans

New Orleans

Lesueur regularly travelled down the Mississippi to New Orléans.

Scope note

New York region

New York region

Lesueur reached New York on May 10th 1816 and settled in Philadelphia.

Scope note

Philadelphia

Philadelphia

Lesueur spent almost ten years in Philadelphia, where he was introduced to many scientists by William Maclure.

Scope note

Port-Jackson

Port-Jackson

On their arrival at Port Jackson, there were only four men on the Géographe who were capable of manoeuvring...

Scope note

Steamboats

Steamboats

From the day he reached the United States in 1816, Lesueur took a keen interest in steamboats, on behalf of...

Scope note

Stopover at Tenerife

Stopover at Tenerife

The Canary Islands were a usual port of call on circumnavigations. After thirteen days at sea, the Géographe...

Scope note

Stopover in South Africa – The Cape: January 1804

Stopover in South Africa – The Cape: January 1804

The Dutch authorities at the Cape welcomed the boats and gave them provisions. On their departure the...

Scope note

Stopover on the Island of France

Stopover on the Island of France

Five months after leaving Le Havre the ships arrived on the Island of France. The vessels were in need of...

Scope note

Tasmania

Tasmania

The boats left Timor for Van Diemen’s Land on 13 November 1801. Close to twenty people on each boat were...

Scope note

Three months in Timor

Three months in Timor

The stopover in Timor was a long one, due to the bad state of repair of the boats and the poor health of the...

Scope note

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How to find us ?
Muséum d'histoire naturelle
Place du Vieux Marché
76600 LE HAVRE
Phone : +33(0)2 35 41 37 28
museum@lehavre.fr

Opening hours

Open from Tuesday to Sunday :
from 10AM to noon
to 2PM to 76PM

Closed on Monday and Thursday morning

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