A Negative Account of Balade, 1792
On September 29, 1791, two ships left Brest Harbour in Brittany, France, bound for the Pacific Ocean. La Recherche was commanded by Contre-Amiral Bruny d'Entrecasteaux, leader of the expedition, and L'Espérance by Huon de Kermadec. Upon reaching New Caledonia, d'Entrecasteaux and his companions were disgusted by what they saw as incontrovertible evidence of cannibalism, and this colored all their subsequent observations. This chapter presents translated extracts from Voyage de d'Entrecasteaux envoyé à la recherche de La Pérouse, including an account of efforts to learn whether the inhabitants of New Caledonia had seen any European ships on their coasts and an assessment of the state of the people.
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