Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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VAILLANT, Auguste Nicolas (val-yong), French naval officer, born in Paris, France, 2 July, 1793; died in France, 1 November, 1858. He entered the navy and rose rapidly in the service, but was retired in 1816 on suspicion of being a Bonapartist. He was restored in 1818, and sent to French Guiana to study the best method of colonizing that country. He made a thorough exploration of the banks of Maroni river, and produced a memoir with a map of that river, the course of which had been till then almost unknown. After serving in various parts of Europe and Africa, he was made in February, 1836, commander of the "Bonite," in which vessel he sailed round the globe, returning to France in November, 1837. In 1838 he was made captain, took part in the expedition to Mexico, and, after the capture of San Juan de Ulua, was appointed commander of this fortress and the station of Vera Cruz. After the conclusion of peace with Mexico he was engaged in the La Plata expedition, and occupied Montevideo. He was minister of marine during the early part of 1851, and gave a vigorous impulse to the colonial policy of France. The same year he was appointed governor-general of the French Antilles and commander of the stations in these quarters and on the Gulf of Mexico. He was then transferred to the government of Martinique, but was forced by ill health to return to France in 1853, to the regret of the colony, which his administration had greatly benefited. An account of his voyage of circumnavigation was published under the title "Voyage autour du monde execute sur la corvette la Bonite" (11 vols., Paris, 1840-'8).
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