Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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LANDOLPHE, John Francis, French navigator, born in Auxonne, Burgundy, 3 February, 1747; died in Paris in 1825. He went to Paris at the age of eighteen to study medicine, but resolved to become a sailor, and he made His first voyage in 1767 on a merchant vessel bound for Santo Domingo. He was made captain in 1775, and spent the next three years in efforts to extend the French colonies on the west coast of Africa. In 1778 he made several voyages to the Antilles and the coast of North America, after which he returned to Africa. He was at Guadeloupe toward the end of 1792, where by his courage and presence of mind he did much to save the colony from external attacks, and defended it against a revolt of the negroes. Later he was intrusted by the French government with the task of obtaining for the island the stores and munitions of war of which it stood in need. He skilfully eluded the English cruisers, reached the United States safely, and fulfilled his mission. The French ambassador gave him the command of a vessel that had been taken from the English, in which he was to return to Guadeloupe. On reaching the island, he found that a captain who had sailed with him was accused before the revolutionary tribunal of intending to deliver his vessel to the enemy. At great risk to himself, Landolphe pleaded warmly for his friend and procured his acquittal. Some months afterward his vessel was taken by an English frigate and he was led prisoner to Portsmouth. After his release he was given command of a frigate on which he sailed for Guiana in 1796. He cruised along this coast and among the West Indian islands up to 1800, capturing several English merchantmen. In that year the French squadron was attacked by a superior English force and his vessel taken. After his release he spent the rest of his life chiefly in writing his memoirs. They are entitled "Memoires du capi-taine Landolphe, contenant l'histoire de ses voyages pendant trente-six ans, aux cetes d'Afrique et aux deux Ameriques, rediges sur son manuscrit par J. S. Quesne" (paris, 1823).
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