Thursday, May 10, 2012

Jacques Étienne Victor Arago

Jacques Arago  (March 6, 1790 -  November 27, 1855) was a French writer, artist and explorer.

He joined Louis de Freycinet on his 1817 voyage around the world aboard the ship Uranie.

In his book, ‘Narrative of a Voyage Round the World,’ he writes:

“I made the Tour of the World, but not as a seaman: the vessel carried me, and I wandered with it.”

“On board the Uranie, I traversed the Indian Seas; visited the South Sea Archipelago; and after doubling Cape Horn, and spending three years in dangers and fatigues, saluted the Atlantic as an old friend, and re-visited the beloved coasts of ancient Europe.”

“During our long voyage I became acquainted with numerous tribes; hunted with the Brasilian and the Guanche; danced with the negroes of Africa; and slept under the hut of the Sandwich islander.”

“I have seen much, and observed much.  I visited some little known islands at which our ship did not anchor.”

“I availed myself of the length of our different rendezvous to make excursions into the interior of countries yet uncivilized, which were always amusing, and sometimes dangerous; but which enabled me to collect a variety of observations on the manners, arts, customs, and habits of the different nations which inhabited them.”

I added a folder of some of the art by Jacques Arago on his visit to Hawai‘i in 1819 on my Facebook page.

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