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VAILLANT, Francois Le, South American explorer, born in Paramaribo, Dutch Guiana, in 1753 ; died in La Noue, near Sezanne, France, 22 November, 1824. He was the son of a French consul, and showed from early youth a strong desire for adventure, sometimes wandering alone in the forests for weeks. On his father's return to Europe, in 1763, he studied natural history at Metz, and, sailing for Cape of Good Hope in 1780, tried to traverse Africa by travelling northward in 1780-'4. Later he revisited Guiana, where he owned a large estate. He was imprisoned during the reign of terror, and settled afterward at La None. His works include "Voyage dans l'interieur de l'Afrique " (2 vols., Paris, 1790), and "Second voyage dans l'interieur de l'Afrique" (3 vols., 1796), both of which were translated into several languages ; "Histoire naturelle des oiseaux d'Afrique" (6 vols., 1796-1812) ; "Histoire naturelle des oiseaux de paradis" (1801-'6); "Histoire naturelle des cotingas et des todiers" (1804) ; and "Histoire naturelle des calaos" (1804). The last three describe species of birds that inhabit Guiana. Le Vaillant contributed to the Paris academy of science several papers concerning South America, including a "Memoire sur les coleopteres de la Guiane" (1818).
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