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MARCHAIS, Etienne Renaud, Chevalier des (mar-shay), French navigator, born in Sevres in 1683; died in Versailles in 1728. He entered the navy as a midshipman when he was fifteen years old, and became a lieutenant in 1704, but resigned to enter the service of the Company of the Indies. For several years he made voyages from Cayenne to the coast of Guinea in Africa to procure negro slaves for that. French possession. In 1724 he became representative of the company in Cayenne, and resided there for several years, returning to France only a few months before his death. He left a narrative of his travels, which was published afterward by Labat (q. v.), and later in the " Collection generale des voyages," under the title of "Voyages faits par le Chevalier Renaud des Marchais en Guinee, aux iles voisines et a File de Cayenne, durant les annees 1724, 1725, 1726, contenant une description tres exacte des pays pareourus, et suivis de renseignements precis sur le commerce qui s'y fair" (4 vols., Paris, 1730; Amsterdam, 1731). He also wrote "Relation du voyage far a la cote de Guinee et aux iles des Antilles et Cayenne par le Chevalier Renaud des Marchais en 1704, suivie d'une description des moeurs des habitants de ces pays" (2 vols., Paris, 1730; Amsterdam. 1731).
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