[FRENCH GUIANA] - Pierre-Bernard, Baron MILIUS (1773-1829), Auguste Nicolas VAILLANT (1793-1837), & E. BODIN
[Extraordinary archive of large-scale manuscript maps and topographic views of French Guiana, accomplished by important French artists accompanying Baron Pierre-Bernard Milius to the remote region]
[French Guiana: 1821-1824]. Together, 12 manuscript maps and views, plus one engraved map. Provenance: Baron Pierre-Bernard Milius (1773-1829).
A fine manuscript cartographic record of Baron Milius's scheme to establish a settlement near the mouth of the river Mana on the far west coast of French Guiana, including survey work by Auguste Vaillant.
"Milius first went to sea in 1786 on his father's merchant ships. He joined the navy in 1793 and in 1800, as 'lieutenant de vaisseau' (lieutenant commander), was appointed to the Australian Expedition of Nicolas Thomas Baudin. He served as [Jacques] Hamelin's second-in-command on the Naturaliste and at Timor in 1801 was promoted 'capitaine de frigate' (commander)" (Howgego M44). The importance of the Baudin Expedition cannot be overstated. The 1800-1803 French expedition was the first to survey the western coast and much of the southern coast of Australia. The Expedition harbored at Sydney from the end of April to mid-November 1802. On the return, Baudin died of illness and command passed to Milius, who successfully brought the expedition back to France. Milius subsequently served as director of the port of Venice, returning to France in 1814; "after the restoration of the monarchy in 1815 [he] was appointed director of the port of Brest. He subsequently served as governor of Reunion (1818-21) and Guiana (1823-25), and in 1827 commanded the Scipion at the Battle of Navarino" (Howgego). Milius's service as governor of French Guiana was of particular importance. Originally settled by France in the 17th century, the South American tropical region had been seized by Portugal in 1809. After its restoration to France, a renewed movement began to colonize the area. Milius himself would be influential in seeking to create a penal colony at Mana and to oversee numerous surveys of the region to determine the feasibility and best places for colonization. The present archive, from the collection of Baron Milius, dates from his time as the colonial governor of French Guiana and includes several magnificent, large-scale maps and views, including a masterful manuscript plan of Cayenne, as well as important manuscript maps of Mana and the Maroni River by Auguste Nicolas Vaillant (1793-1837). Together, this collection represents a stunning visual record of the culmination of Milius's storied career. Original primary source, manuscript material from Grand Voyage expeditions is of the utmost rarity and almost exclusively exists in French institutions. Such material that does appear on the market is seldom able to leave France. These newly-discovered drawings, from a critical period of French exploration, are of great historical value. The collection is comprised of: 1) Auguste Nicolas VAILLANT (1793-1837). Pen, ink and wash original manuscript map titled 'Plan de la Partie du Maroni, Comprise Entre Son Embouchure Et le Parallêle Situé par 5 [degrees] 7'.46". de latde. N., Dressé par Augte. Niclo. Vaillant Ensgne. de Vau., pendant Son Voyage dant Ce Fleuve, pour le Service de la Commission Explorative de la Guyanne Française'. [French Guiana: 1824]. Pen and black ink with grey watercolor wash on early 19th-century laid paper, ('M' in a shield watermark, with 'M' countermark). Sheet size: 39 1/4 x 25 1/2 inches. An attractive record of an important early survey of the border between French Guiana and Surinam. Auguste Vaillant served as 'aide de camp' to Baron Milius and would subsequently command a voyage of circumnavigation aboard the corvette Bonite. He produced this detailed record of soundings and observations about habitation and natural features and hazards on the Rio Maroni: the importance of the work was recognised and he produced a 'memoir' describing the exploration. The Maroni which up until this survey was virtually unknown, served then and now as French Guiana's border with Surinam on the west bank. The area surveyed includes a 'Grand village Parêtlaii' on the approximate site of present-day Saint-Laurent du Maroni. As the title makes clear, this map was one of the results of an extensive survey carried out for the commission commanded by Baron Milius to explore French Guiana. 2) Auguste Nicolas VAILLANT (1793-1837). An original manuscript map titled 'Croquis du cours de l' Acarouani en de ses Affluence par Augte. Vaillant Ensgne. de Vau., Aide de Camp de Mr. le Bon. Milius'. [French Guiana:] 17 Juillet 1824. Pen and ink, on laid French Grand-Aigle paper (watermark: a crowned eagle). Sheet size 25 3/4 x 17 3/4 inches. A detailed chart of the course of the Acarouani River from its headwaters to its confluence with the Mana, just upstream from the town from where the town of Mana is now situated. 3) H. PARENT. An original manuscript map, titled 'Plan de l'ancienne et nouvelle ville de Cayenne.' [French Guiana:] 1821. Pencil, pen-and-ink and watercolour, on laid French Grand-Aigle paper (watermark of a crowned eagle watermark, with indistinct countermark). Sheet size: 24 1/8 x 35 1/16 inches. A beautifully-finished plan showing the proposed new layout for the capital, apparently following the plans drawn up by the surveyor Sirdey, the 'arpenteur royal.' This plan marks the moment when Cayenne became a modern colonial capital, and is a fascinating and important document in the history of the development of Cayenne. The proposed expansion was only possible because of the amount of land that had been reclaimed by the engineering works which began in 1777. Using convict labour, the draining of the marshy land around the old town and the resulting Canal Laussat (shown on this plan) was also finished in 1821. The Old Town ("Ancienne Ville") lies at left; the New Town ("Nouveau Ville") at right. It is interesting to note how much of the lay out suggested here is still in existence, although very few of the streets have retained their names - the 'Rue de Choiseuil' is now the 'Avenue du général de Gaulle', for instance. 4) Captain BONNE. An original manuscript engineering drawing, titled 'Plan d'un Débarcadour en charpente, projeté pour le Port de Cayenne. Executé sous l'administration de Mr. le Baron Milius'. [French Guiana:] March 1823. Pen-and-ink and watercolour wash, on laid paper (watermark of an 'M' in a shield, 'M' countermark). Sheet size: 26 3/8 x 40 inches. Further inscribed "Vue et Approuvé" by Baron Milius, with his signature and the date '27 Mars 1823', and also signed by Bonne 'Le capn. au corps Royal du genie militaire.' Four engineering drawings on one large sheet of a proposed boat dock in Cayenne: top elevation, side elevation, and two details. 5) [Captain BONNE]. An original manuscript engineering drawing, titled 'Plan d'un Débarcadour en charpente, projeté pour le Port de Cayenne. [French Guiana : circa 1823]. Pen, ink and watercolour wash, on laid French Grand-Aigle paper (watermark of a crowned eagle clutching thunderbolts in each foot, 'Montgolfier / Annonay' countermark). Sheet size: 26 1/4 x 38 ½ inches. A more finished version of the previous drawing. 6) Captain BONNE. An original manuscript engineering drawing, titled 'Projet d'un Pont de débarquement en charpente à construire vis-à-vis le Bureau du Port, à Cayenne'. [French Guiana, 1823.] Pen, ink and watercolour wash, on laid French Grand-Aigle paper (watermark of a crowned eagle clutching thunderbolts in each foot, 'Montgolfier / Annonay' countermark). Signed by Bonne. Sheet size: 25 x 19 1/8 inches. Detailed engineering plan of a bridge from a disembarking point to the mainland, near the 'Bureau du Port' in Cayenne. 7) Captain BONNE. An original manuscript architectural drawing, titled 'Plan de l'Hôpital militaire projeté à Cayenne'. [French Guiana, circa 1823]. Pen, ink and watercolour wash, on laid paper (watermark of an 'M' in a shield, 'M' countermark). Sheet size: 24 3/4 x 38 5/8 inches. Signed by Bonne 'Le capn. du genie.' A fine architectural drawing of the new wing of the military hospital in Cayenne. 5 parts on one sheet, as follows: Floor plan of the new and existing wings; elevation of the new and existing wings which shows the changes to the latter; two cross sections, and an elevation of the existing wing before modification. 8) [Captain BONNE] An original manuscript architectural drawing, titled 'Caserne pour 6 compagnies d'infanterie, projetée a Cayenne'. [French Guiana, circa 1823]. Pen, ink and watercolour wash, on 19th century wove paper. Sheet size: 20 3/8 x 26 1/4 inches. Expertly drawn architectural plan for a barracks for "six companies of infantry" at Cayenne. Consists of elevations of three facades, a cross section, and a plan of the main floor. 9) E. BODIN. An original drawing titled in a cartouche 'Vue du Port de la Nouvelle Angoulême'. [French Guiana:] July 1824. Pencil and brown wash panorama, with black ink ruled border, on two joined sheets of laid Dutch Royal paper ('Vande Ley' watermark with countermark of the figure of Fortune on a globe with 'VDL' monogram beneath), signed 'E. Bodin del.' in black ink in lower right corner. Sheet size: 16 inches x 46 3/4 inches. A beautifully observed and executed view of this newly-established experimental colonial settlement. The village is shown from the opposite bank of the Mana River, from approximately eye-level. Shown within a tropical landscape are eight buildings, five of which appear to be private dwellings, two public buildings, and one (at far left) a store or warehouse. The next plan by Bodin (see below), includes the information that he was an 'Ingénieur Géographe de Militaire'. 10) Captaine BRACHE. An original pen, ink and watercolour map, titled 'Crique Portal depuis son embouchure jusqu'a 40 lieues. Exploration de Mr. le Capne. Brache en Juillet en Aout 1824. d'apres les ordres de Mr. le Baron Milius commandt. et administratr. de la Guyane Fe. pour le Roi.' [French Guiana: 1824]. Pen and ink map of the course of the river with large watercolour vignette of the rapids of St. Bernard, within a black wash border, on laid French Grand-Aigle paper (watermark of a crowned eagle clutching thunderbolts in each foot, with 'Montgolfier / Annonay' countermark). Sheet size 25 1/4 x 35 inches. Shows the course of the 'Crique Portal', a tributary of the Rio Maroni that runs roughly from southwest to northeast, specifically designed to show in large inset a series of rapids (Saul St. Bernard) that obstruct navigation on the river. 11) E. BODIN & Mr. LAINÉ. An original chart, titled in a cartouche 'Plan de l'embouchure de la Mana levé et dressé par ordre de Monsieur le Baron Milius commandant a la Guyane pour le Roi par les Officiers de la Goelette de sa Majesté l'Artésienne sous la direction de Mr. Lainé commandant la station de Cayenne, conjointement avec Mr. Bodin ingénieur géographe militaire'. [French Guiana:] July 1824. Pen, ink and watercolour chart with soundings marked in black and red, title cartouche and explanatory index on a trompe-l'oeil 'sheet' of paper, all within black ink ruled border, on two joined sheets of laid paper (watermark: an 'M' in a shield, with an 'M' countermark). Sheet size: 24 5/8 x 46 1/8 inches. A finely-presented manuscript nautical chart of an area of the utmost importance to the settlers on the banks of the Mana, in the far north west of French Guiana. Numerous soundings are given and the title cartouche is enriched by the inclusion of two 'cornucopias' overflowing with pineapples, mangos, paw-paw, avocado, banana and tropical flowers. A preparatory drawing for the following: 12) E. BODIN & Mr. LAINÉ. An original chart, titled in a cartouche 'Plan de l'embouchure de la Mana levé et dressé par ordre de Monsieur le Baron Milius commandant a la Guyane pour le Roi par les Officiers de la Goelette de sa Majesté l'Artésienne sous la direction de Mr. Lainé Commandant la Station de Cayenne, conjointement avec Mr. Bodin Ingénieur Géographe de Militaire'. [French Guiana:] July 1824. Pen, ink and watercolour chart with soundings marked in black and red, title cartouche and explanatory index on a trompe-l'oeil 'sheet' of paper, all within black ink ruled border, on two joined sheets of laid French Grand-Aigle paper, signed 'E. Bodin D[irex]it.' in red ink in lower right corner (crowned eagle, with indistinct countermark). Sheet size: 24 1/8 x 44 3/4 inches. A more highly finished variant to the above, with additions and corrections and signed by Bodin. 13) GRESSIER. Plan de l'Embouchure de la Rivière de Cayenne et des Mouillages Extérieurs Levé en Mars 1820, dans la Campagne de la Corvette la Bayadère et du Brick Le Favori, par M. M. Gressier Ingénieur Hydrographe de la Marine ... Sous les Ordres et la Direction de M. le Baron Roussin ... Chef de l'Expédition. Paris: Dépòt-général de la Marine, 1822. Black and white copper-engraving. Sheet size: 27 1/2 x 40 1/8 inches. A fine engraved marine chart, almost contemporary with the manuscript plans and drawings above. It shows Cayenne and its vicinity in detail, and includes an inset of the Iles du Salut (including the infamous Devil's Island).
Howgego M44 & V1.