Front cover image for Louis-Antoine de Bougainville journals, 1778-1782

Louis-Antoine de Bougainville journals, 1778-1782

Two sets of holograph journals kept by a French naval commander during the American Revolution. The first set, dated 1778 Apr 13 - 1779 Dec 21, is written in fifteen notebooks numbered 1-16, lacking number 12, and cover the entire cruise of the fleet of Admiral d'Estaing from its departure from Toulon in April 1778 to its return to France in December 1779. The journals are a daily record carrying navigational details and personal observations while recording the movements of the French fleet, including abortive operations against the British at Newport, Rhode Island, the fleet's anchorage in Nantasket Roads [Boston harbor], and operations against Savannah. The missing 12th notebook, lost sometime in the 19th century, covers the period from 18 June to 26 July, 1779, while the fleet was in the Antilles. The journals include English passages from the Boston Gazette and British reports, and include a copy of an order from d'Estaing. They are accompanied by a pen-and-ink and watercolor map of Boston harbor showing the French fleet riding at anchor
Archival Material, French, 1778