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Pelecanoides garnoti

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Old Tuesday 27th March 2012, 16:41   #1
Susan Manchester
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Pelecanoides garnoti

I was looking up information about Prosper Garnot for this scientific name, when I was propelled into an alternate universe! First, I read about Garnot getting sick during the Coquille expedition, and getting off the ship in Port Jackson to carry the collections he and Rene Primevere Lesson had made back to France on the British convict ship Castle Forbes. Lesson said, and it is repeated everywhere, that the Castle Forbes sunk off the Cape of Good Hope, and the collection was lost. However, I could not find ANYTHING about the Castle Forbes having a wreck anywhere, let alone off the Cape of Good Hope. Their schedule during 1824 had them sailing only in the Indian Ocean area, and in July of that year, they were in Madras, far from the Cape of Good Hope. So I looked up information on Lesson and the Coquille, and that is when things really got weird. I found a listing of Lesson's books and journals here:
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/creator/4365
That is where I found out that he wrote part of the journals for both the circumnavigation of the Thetis and the Esperance in 1824-1826, and the Coquille in 1822-1825???? The item showing under the Esperance expedition is only an atlas, but under the natural history specimens, there are butterflies named after both of Lesson's daughters. And under the information for the expedition leader, Hyacinthe de Bougainville, it says that he visited New South Wales, Port Jackson and Sydney in 1825, while the Coquille was there in 1824. Wikipedia has Lesson writing both part of both journals as well. Does anyone have any information that would clear this mystery up for me? I am really hampered by the fact that I do not speak French.
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Old Tuesday 27th March 2012, 17:00   #2
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Susan,
You really like this arcane stuff. You would really need to go through the specific acta to find out some of these things. I did a cursory search and the Castle Forbes was still active at least until 1831 on a route from London to Calcutta. Perhaps, it really did sink, and became Flying Dutchmanesque.
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Old Tuesday 27th March 2012, 21:33   #3
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Well, it looks like you got an answer over at the Naval Ships forum (your post is high up when you google "castle forbes ship"). But as for not knowing French: if you're going to get involved in this kind of historical research, you're going to find that a lot of the source documents aren't in English. French and German are the most likely languages for ornithology, along with some Latin.

So I would really recommend you get some familiarity with those languages. I know that seems like a major project, but for example I studied German for a year. That still didn't make me capable of reading technical documents (or even a newspaper) but I can at least get the general idea at first glance and then figure things out with dictionaries etc if I have to.

And nowadays Google Translate does a fairly good job with Western European languages, but it does go off into the weeds at times. Especially with complex grammar, or misspellings, or archaic terminology, all of which exist in the documents you're looking at. So you need some background in the source language to be able to reject what it comes up with.
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Old Wednesday 28th March 2012, 02:39   #4
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The Castle Forbes did not sink. Garnot took the ship Castle Forbes from Port Jackson July 1824 to Mauritius were he then took the ship the George IV. This ship was shipwrecked at the Cape of Good Hope.
Mentioned by Lesson here:
http://books.google.com/books?id=rI1...gbs_navlinks_s . Page 218.
Explained more fully here:
http://www.worldnavalships.com/forum...php?p=10022200 .

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Old Thursday 29th March 2012, 04:22   #5
Susan Manchester
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I got the information straight on the Castle Forbes. Now I am wondering what the deal is with Lesson going on two trips around the world at the same time, or at least writing the journals for both.

Paul, I am finding that I can understand more and more of what I am reading in French and German, but it is still a little difficult with long articles. Like you said, it is hard enough to read some of these technical articles in English, so it is next to impossible to read them in another language, but I think I might just learn two other languages before I am through, and I am learning a lot about Latin and Greek as well.
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Old Thursday 29th March 2012, 04:54   #6
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Now I am wondering what the deal is with Lesson going on two trips around the world at the same time, or at least writing the journals for both.


The Thetis and Esperance (1824-1826)
Commandant Hyacinthe de Bougainville.
No naturalist is attached to this Expedition. The surgeon on board Françoise – Louis Busseuil collects materials of natural history, but dies before he could exploit it. Natural History publication of the trip was provided by R. P. Lesson, only in 1837.

The Atlas includes a drawing of a curious case of Siamese twins:
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/i...ge/38/mode/1up

Last edited by mb1848 : Thursday 29th March 2012 at 04:59.
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Old Thursday 29th March 2012, 17:38   #7
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So basically, mb1848, you are saying that Lesson wrote the journal for Busseuil because he died before he could do it himself. Am I understanding that correctly? I guess that would make sense.
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Old Thursday 29th March 2012, 18:47   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Susan Manchester View Post
Paul, I am finding that I can understand more and more of what I am reading in French and German, but it is still a little difficult with long articles.
Sure, picking the languages up as you go along isn't a bad idea if it actually happens. If you take formal language courses you learn a lot of things which aren't really useful for you, like how to order breakfast and have a conversation about the weather. When I was at university I took a course called "Russian for Scientists" which was just what I needed. Now I know the Russian word for "nucleus" but not the Russian word for "cat".
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Old Friday 30th March 2012, 03:55   #9
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As early as 1827 Lesson publishes a name of Busseuil for the Red-necked Pademelon from Port Jackson, Halmaturus thetis.
Under the modern rules of nomenclature, Lesson gets credit as author for the name.
http://books.google.com/books?id=BQe...gbs_navlinks_s . Page 229 of Manuel de Mammologie.

Busseuil was born at Nantes on 12 December 1791. Apprentice seaman on the Vétéran in 1811. Auxiliary surgeon in the Navy by 1812, he became doctor of medicine in 1814 and was appointed "chirurgien entretenu" in 1816. Departed as surgeon-major on the frigate Thétis on H. de Bougainville's expedition of 1824-1826. Sailed then on the Terpsichore to Brazil, the Pacific, and Madagascar (1828-1831), and on the Flore to Senegal (1833-1834). In 1834 he was sent to Gorée (Dakar Senegal) where he died on 14 June 1835.

Lesson wrote the journal for Busseuil because he died before he could do it himself? I am not sure but that makes sense. It looks like Busseuil was very busy, and then died in 1835.
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