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Memorable Manitobans: Jean-François de Galaup, Comte de la Pérouse (1741-1788)

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J. F. G. La Pérouse
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Naval officer, explorer.

Born in Albi, France, he was a career naval officer who was promoted to captain in 1780, soon receiving command of the frigate Astrée, with which he achieved great military success in 1781. In 1782 he took command of the Sceptre and brought it, along with two other ships of a dispersed French fleet, to Hudson Bay.

On 9 August he accepted the surrender of Samuel Hearne at Fort Prince of Wales, and two weeks later had equal success at York Factory. He treated his prisoners with considerable kindness and lost not a single man under his command in this military mission He was appointed in 1785 by the king of France to command an expedition to the west coast of America. He sailed around Cape Horn and arrived in Kamchatka on 7 September 1786. He then sailed into the central Pacific, disappearing in 1788. Wreckage of his ships was discovered later.

He is commemorated by the La Perouse siding on the Thicket Subdivision of the Hudson Bay Railway.

See also:

French Explorers in the Pacific, 2 volumes by John Dunmore (1965-69).

La Tragique Expédition de Lapérouse et Langle by Paul Fleuriot de Langle (1954).

Jean-François de Galaup, Comte de LaPérouse, Dictionary of Canadian Biography IV, 282-83.


Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 19 July 2018

Memorable Manitobans

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