Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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NEUVILLE, Philippe Buache de la, French geographer, born in Neuville-en-Pont, 7 February, 1700; died in Paris, 24 January, 1773. He was a pupil of Guillaume Delisle, and succeeded him in the Academy of sciences in 1730. He invented a new system of geography, which, although defective in many instances, contributed greatly toward the progress of that science, and popularized it. By a careful study of the map of the earth he became convinced that a connection existed in Bering strait between Asia and America, and he placed on his map the peninsula of Alaska and the Aleutian islands long before their discovery. After reading the narrative of Admiral de Fuente (q. v.), he drew a chart of the western coast of North America, then almost unknown, which was valuable to navigators. He affirmed also that a continent or large islands existed in the vicinity of the south pole. Among his works are "Considerations geographiques et physiques sur les decouvertes nouvelles dans la grande mer," which contains a chart of the western coast of North America (Paris, 1754)" "Le parallele des fleuves des quatre parties du monde pour servir h determiner la hauteur des montagnes" (1757) ; ' Memoire sur la traversde de la met glaciale arctique," which contains his hypothesis of an Alaskan peninsula (1759); and "Considerations geographiques sur les terres australes et antarctiques" (1761).--His nephew, Jean Nicolas, born in Neuville-en-Pont, 15 February, 1741; died in Paris, 21 November, 1825, taught geography to Louis XVI., Louis XVII1., and Charles X., was afterward keeper of the marine charts and log-books in the navy department, and, being elected to the Academy of sciences in 1782, prepared the charts for the unfortunate expedition of La Pdrouse (q. v.) to the South sea. Among his works are "Memoire sur la terre des Arsacides," in which he claims that Surville discovered the Salomon islands before Mendana de Neyra (Paris, 1781)" and "Considerations sur les limites meridionales de la Ouiane Francaise" (1797), in which he urged the government to claim a tract of land 150 miles large, which he affirmed belonged to Guiana. This work contained also a map of Guiana which provoked complications with Portugal and the "Directory" was at one time on the eve of declaring war with the latter country. The difficulties that were raised by Buache de la Neuville's work were brollght to an end only under the reign of Louis Philippe. He also wrote "Memoire sur les decouvertes faites par la Perouse" (1798) ; "Recherches sur l'ile Juan de Lisboa" (1801) ; "Recherches sur File Antilla et sur l'epoque de la decouverte de l'Amerique" (1806)" and "Observations sur quelques iles situees entre le Japon et la Californie" (1809).
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