Series 05: Papers concerning the publication by Comte Louis de Lauraguais of Banks’ abstract account of the voyage of HMS Endeavour, 1772
Documents 1 and 2 in this series, previously located at ML MSS 743/3, were acquired for the Mitchell Library from the London bookseller Francis Edwards on 18 July 1938. Document 1 was at one time in the possession of Edward Stanhope, and later was part of the collection of James Edge-Partington.
Document 3 in this series, previously located at ML MSS 5164, was acquired for the Mitchell Library from Sydney antiquarian booksellers, Hordern House on 6 July 1989. In 1886 this letter is recorded as being among the papers of Sir Joseph Banks subsequently dispersed in the auction by Sotheby's, London, on 13 March 1886. It includes the original folio number assigned by Banks, written in ink in an unknown hand in the top right hand corner.
It is now not possible to reconstruct Banks' original arrangement. The series has therefore been arranged chronologically.
At the request of his friend, the French man of letters and dilettante Comte Louis de Lauraguais, Banks wrote an unofficial, abstract account of the voyage of HM Bark Endeavour in a letter to Lauraguais in December 1771. The letter was not intended for publication but in 1772 Lauraguais wrote and printed a version of the voyage based on Banks' account in the form of a letter to the Secretary of the French Academy, Jean le Rond d'Alembert. Banks subsequently bought and destroyed the impression. Lauraguais' version was partly motivated by a wish to acknowledge the achievements of the Pacific voyage of Louis Antoine de Bougainville.