Jean-François de LA PEROUSE

Family tree of Jean-François de LA PEROUSE

Sailor

FrenchBorn Jean-François de GALAUP

French Navy officer and explorer whose expedition vanished in Oceania

Born on August 23, 1741 in Albi, France , France

Died on November 30, 1787 in Australasia

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Jean-François de Galaup was born near Albi, France. La Pérouse was the name of a family property that he added to his name. He studied in a Jesuit college and entered the naval college in Brest when he was fifteen. In 1757 he was posted to the Célèbre and participated in a supply expedition to Louisbourg in New France. He was in a second supply expedition in 1758 to that besieged fortress that was forced to make a circuitous route around Newfoundland to avoid British patrols. In 1759 he was wounded in the Battle of Quiberon Bay, where he was serving aboard the Formidable. He was captured and briefly imprisoned before being paroled back to France; he was formally exchanged in December 1760. He participated in a 1762 attempt by the French to gain control of Newfoundland, escaping with the fleet when the British arrived in force to drive them out.

Following the Franco-American alliance, he fought against the Royal Navy off the American coast, and victoriously led the frigate Astree in the Naval battle of Louisbourg, 21 July 1781. He was promoted to rank of commodore when he defeated the English frigate Ariel in the West Indies. In August 1782 he made his name by capturing two English forts (Prince of Wales Fort and York Fort) on the coast of Hudson Bay, but allowed the survivors, including Governor Samuel Hearne of Prince of Wales Fort, to sail off to England in exchange for a promise to release French prisoners held in England. The next year his family finally consented to his marriage to Louise-Eléonore Broudou, a young creole of modest origins whom he met on Ile de France (present-day Mauritius).

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