Bougainville, Louis Antoine de


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Bougainville, Louis Antoine de

(lwē äNtwän` də bo͞ogăNvēl`), 1729–1811, French navigator. He accompanied MontcalmMontcalm, Louis Joseph de
, 1712–59, French general. His name in fuller form was Louis Joseph de Montcalm-Gozon, marquis de Saint-Véran. A veteran of the War of the Polish Succession and the War of the Austrian Succession, he was sent (1756) to defend Canada in the
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 to Canada as aide-de-camp, and he later (c.1764) established a colony on the Falkland Islands but had to surrender the settlement to Spain (1766). Accompanied by naturalists and astronomers, he made a voyage around the world (1767–69), visiting Tahiti in the Society Islands, the Samoan group, and the New Hebrides (now Vanuatu), and rediscovering the Solomon Islands, the largest of which (Bougainville, now a part of Papua New Guinea) is named for him. In the American Revolution he fought Admiral Hood at Martinique. His name is also given to the strait between Bougainville and Choiseul Island, to a strait in Vanuatu, and to the bougainvillaea vine. Bougainville's Description d'un voyage autour du monde (2 vol., 1771–72; tr. 1772) helped to popularize Rousseau's theories on the morality of humanity in its natural state and inspired Diderot to write (1772) his Supplément au voyage de Bougainville, a defense of sexual freedom.

Bougainville, Louis Antoine de

 

Born Nov. 11, 1729, in Paris; died there Aug. 31, 1811. French navigator.

In the years 1763-65, Bougainville explored the Falkland Islands. In the years 1766 to 1769, sailing on the ships La Boudeuse and L’Etoile, he led the first French expedition around the world, during which he discovered (1768) several islands of the Tuamotu and Louisiade archipelagoes in the Pacific Ocean. He rediscovered the Solomon Islands, which had already been reached in 1568 by the Spaniard A. Mendaña (but which had not been found again since that time). Bougainville visited the Choiseul Islands and an island in the Solomon group which was later named after him (Bougainville Island). Bougainville described his voyages, which directly preceded J. Cook’s voyage around the world, in his book Voyage Around the World on the Frigate “La Boudeuse” and the Transport “L’Etoile” in the Years 1766-69 (1771; Russian translation, 1961).