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Abel Aubert Dupetit Thouars (1793-1864).

Abel Aubert Dupetit Thouars (3 August 1793 – 16 March 1864) was a Frenchmarker naval officer important in France's anexation of French Polynesiamarker.

He was born at the castle of La Fessardière, near Saumurmarker. His uncle Aristide Aubert Dupetit-Thouars was of the hero of the Battle of the Nilemarker. He joined the French Navy in 1804, where he was a young hand in the Boulogne fleet.

He was promoted to Captain (Capitaine de frégate) in 1824. He frequently travelled to Algeriamarker, and had a decisive role in the conquest of Alger, when he established the attack plans. During the battle, he commanded the 20-gun Le Griffon.

He was later put in charge of the Southern Seas command, in the Pacific Oceanmarker. In 1834 he played a key role in protecting French shipping interests against the Peruvians.

He became "Capitaine de vaisseau" on 6 January 1834, and accomplished a circumnavigation between 1836 and 1839 on La Venus.

Abel Aubert Dupetit Thouars taking over Tahiti on September 9, 1842.

He was made admiral ( ) on 12 July 1841, in charge of the Pacific Naval Division. His mission was to take possession of the Marquesas Islandsmarker. In Tahitimarker, he entered in a confrontation with the English missionary and Consul George Pritchard (1796-1883), and finally expelled him and established a French protectorate over the territory. He was initially denounced for his actions by the French government, which was fearing a conflict with Great Britainmarker. Relations between France and Great Britain soured considerably during the reign of Louis-Philippe, due to this "Pritchard Affair".

Dupetit Thouars became a Vice-Admiral ( ) in 1846, and retired in 1858. He died in Paris in 1864.

He had no children, but adopted the son of his sister, known as Abel Nicolas Bergasse Dupetit Thouars, who also became an Admiral, and played an important role during the Boshin War in Japanmarker. This botanist is denoted by the author abbreviation A.Thouars when citing a botanical name.



Further reading

  • Granier, Hubert, Histoire des marins français 1815–1870: La marche vers la République. Nantes: Marines Éditions, 2002. ISBN 2-909675-72-6

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