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On this day June 20 in 1802, French explorer Nicholas...

On this day June 20 in 1802, French explorer Nicholas Baudin arrived in Port Jackson seeking repairs for his ship ‘Le Géographe’ and respite for his sick crew. Baudin was sent by the French to explore coast of Australia, make charts and explore and record botanical and scientific items of interest to the Europeans, despite the English presence.

After recuperating in Port Jackson and heading south, Baudin slipped and revealed another part of this commission-to plan for a French run Van Diemen’s Land colony. This was not an idea well received by Governor King and his envoys successfully dissuaded Baudin from carrying out the plan.

This Map of Sydney in 1802, based on a survey by Charles-Pierre Boulanger and later drawn by Charles-Alexandre Lesueur.

Lesueur, initially assistant gunner aboard ‘Le Geographe’ became Baudin expedition’s artist, and is most famous for his colour plates in Voyage de Decouvertes aux Terres Australes.

After Captain Baudin’s death in 1803, Francois Peron and later Louis de Freycinet the expedition’s cartographer continued to edit the voyage’s account published in the years 1807-1811-1816 as “Voyagede Decouvertes aux Terres Australes (…)”.


The map shows relief by hachures, vegetation, and key to 34 locations. Sydney from Sydney Cove to ‘Village de Brick-field’, from Darling Harbour to Palmers’ Cove. As noted in the Librarian’s caption, the map shows: “the gruesome objects shown are gallows marked 35 and 36″ The gallows at 35 was disused however, the ones at 36 were still in use at the time. They stood at the present corner of Park and Castlereagh Streets.


Plate number in r/h bottom corner: “N.o 30”.
Boulanger’s survey of Sydney reached France in 1804, and was drawn by Lesueur for publication in “Voyage de Decouvertes” for 1812.