Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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DIEREVILLE, M., French traveler, born in PontLeveque, Normandy, about 1670. He had become somewhat noted as a poet through his contributions to the " Mereure galant," when he embarked as supercargo on a vessel bound for Canada in 1699. He reached Acadia after a voyage of fiftyfour days, and exchanged the greater part of the merchandise he had brought for the products of the colony. Although he gained great popularity among the fishermen, who supplied him with more fish in six months than the privileged companies were able to obtain in twenty years, he was badly treated by the association for which he acted, and returned to France in 1700. He published " Relation du voyage du Port Royal de l'Aeadie, ou NouvelleFranee, darts laquelle on voit un detail des divers mouvements de lamer darts une traversee de long tours" la description du pays, les occupations des Francais qui y sont etablis, les manieres des diff5rentes nations sauvages, leurs superstitions et leurs ehasses avee une dissertation exaete sur le castor" (Rouen and Amsterdam, 1708).
Diereville intended to write his narrative in verse; but, when some of his friends told him that if he did so it would be looked on as a fable, he compromised by writing his account partly in verse and partly in prose, his fondness for poor rhymes did not prevent him from giving a vivid idea of Acadia. He does justice to the inhabitants and to their attachment to their mother country, and attributes the poverty of the country to the obstacles placed in the way of commerce. While he describes very fully the animals of Acadia and the manners of the savages, he says but little of its botany, although he was charged with the duty of collecting plants for the garden of the king. He brought to France a new shrub, which Tournefort called the Derevilla, and which is noted for its beautiful yellow flowers. Linnaeus, while preserving the specific name given by his predecessor, has assigned it to the genus Lonicera. Jussieu restored the genus Dierevilla. Tournefort says that Diereville was a surgeon, Haller that he was a merchant. The probability is that he was both.
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