Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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FEUILLET, Louis Econches, French explorer, born in Mane, near Forcalquier, Provence, in 1660; died in Marseilles, 18 April 1732. He studied at the College of the convent of Minimes, in Avignon, and at the early age of ten astonished his teachers by observations on astronomical subjects. On 20 March 1680, Feuillee received holy orders and entered the convent of Minimes in order to dedicate himself exclusively to his studies. Soon his discoveries in mathematics and astronomy gave him a wide reputation, and after a voyage to the Levant with the mathematician Cassini, were sent by Louis XIV on a scientific expedition to the Gulf of Mexico, he sailed from Marseilles, 5 February 1703, and arrived at Martinique on 11 April 1704. After recovering from an illness which had interrupted his observations, he sailed on board of a buccaneer's ship in September 1804, and in this queer company visited Puerto Cabello, Santa Marta, Puerto Bello, Carthagena, and other points, landing for a few days wherever the vessel touched, to make observations and collect botanical specimens. He afterward returned to Martinique, and from there sailed on a second visit to Trinidad and other West India islands. He returned to France in June 1706, and became corresponding member of the Academy of sciences, and mathematician in ordinary to the king. He sailed on a second expedition on 14 December 1707, and arrived at Buenos Ayres on 14 August Louis XIV placed at Feuillet's disposal a man-of-war, to facilitate his work, and from Buenos Ayres he sailed toward Cape Horn.
On 24 Dec. he observed the snowy mountains of Staten Land, and then advanced south several degrees, entering the Antarctic ocean, He determined the positions of several islands, took soundings, and drew a chart of them. In January 1709, he sailed as far as E1 Callao, Peru, and made a complete chart of the Chilean coast. He penetrated the interior of Peru as far as the mountains, and then went to Lima. On 3 January 1711, Feuillet re-embarked and followed a new route to the southward, going beyond the 59th parallel. He then visited Havana and Puerto Rico, and arrived in France on 27 August 1711, where he was received with great distinction. In 1724, Feuillet was again sent on an expedition to determine the exact position of the Island of Ferro, where the French geographers had located the prime meridian. His works are " Journal des observations physiques, math6matiques et botaniques, faites sur les cStes orientales de l'Amerique m6ridionale et dans les Indes occidentales de 1707 a 1712" (2 vols., Paris, 1714); "Suite du journal des observations physiques " (1725). Both works are illustrated with numerous maps and plates. The journal of Feuillet and its continuation have at the end a separate work entitled "Histoire des plantes m6dicinales qui sont le plus en usage aux royaumes du P6rou et du Chili, compos6e sur les lieux par ordre du roi en 1709,1710 et 1711." The figures of these plants, most of which were new, are drawn with delicacy and truth. Among others are the fuchsia and the datura grandiflora, which were afterward introduced into Europe. The work of Feuillet, with its hundred botanical plates, was afterward published in German (2 vols., Nuremberg, 1756'7).
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