Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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LAROCHE, Antoine de, French navigator. He lived in the 17th century, and entered the English naval service. All that is known about his voyages and discoveries is contained in the work of Seixasy Louera, entitled " Description geographica de la region Magellanica." a section of which treats of the discovery that was made by De Laroche of a new passage from the North sea into the South sea. Laroche is said to have returned from the island of Chiloe in May, 1675, doubled Cape Horn, and tried to enter the south Atlantic by way of the Strait of Lemaire, for at that time it was not known that there was an open sea east of Staten island. The western winds were so violent, and the currents so rapid, that he was carried eastward without being able to approach the lands that he along the Strait of Magellan. The month of May was already advanced, and winter was beginning. He despaired of safety, and his anxiety increased when he saw an unknown land before him in the east. After many efforts he succeeded in reaching a bay, where he anchored near a cape sloping southward, and where the sea was deep. He distinguished mountains near the coast covered with snow, and was exposed to very stormy winds. At the end of fourteen days the weather cleared, and he found that he was anchored at one of the extremities of this hind, and discovered to the south and southeast other mountains covered with snow. A gale from the south now forced him northward for three days as far as the forty-sixth degree of south latitude. The storm calmed, and at about the forty-fifth degree he reached a country without inhabitants and which he represented as very pleasant. Here he spent six days, and procured water, wood, and fish. He then sailed for the Bay of All Saints in Brazil. Some writers have thought that Laroche's island was the hind that was seen by Duclos-Guyot in June, 1756, which he named St. Pierre and which Cook named South Georgia in 1772.
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