Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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FLEURIEU, Charles Pierre Claret, Comte de, French naval officer, born in Lyons, 22 January 1738; died in Paris, 18 August 1810. He entered the navy at the age of thirteen years, and became a lieutenant in 1759. The peace of 1763 gave him occasion to apply himself to office work and study, and he assisted the engineer Ferdinand Berthoud, in 1766, in his invention of the marine watch or chronometer. In 1768 he was appointed to the command of the frigate "Isis" on an expedition to experiment with the new instrument, sailing from Aix in November of that year. He took observations at Martinique, Santo Domingo, Porto Rico, Havana, Jamaica, Colon, and New Orleans, and after touching at New York, Boston, and Newfoundland, returned to Aix on 11 October 1769. The results of this expedition were important to geography, as he established the exact position of all +he points visited, and published them in his later works.
In 1776 Fleurieu was appointed inspector general of ports and navy yards, and from 1778 till 1783 he elaborated all the plans for the naval war against England, to assist the struggle for the independence of the United States. In 1790'1 he was minister of the navy, and in 1793 was imprisoned under the reign of terror, but was released in 1794, and under the directory was appointed to the bureau of longitudes. He was a member of the council of 500 in 1797, and in 1800 was called by Bonaparte to the council of state. In 1805 he was minister plenipotentiary for the signature of the treaty ceding Louisiana to the United States, and on his return became intendant of the imperial house, senator, in 1806 admiral, and in 1808 governor of the Tuileries.
His body was buried in the Panthdon. His works are " Voyage entrepris en 1768 et '69 pour 6prouver en ,net' les horloges marines " (2 vols., Paris, 1773); "Longirude exacte des divers points des Antilles, et de l'Amerique du Nord" (1773); " Les Antilles, leur flore et faune" (1774); "Le Neptune AmericoSeptentrional" (1780); and "Histoire des adventuriers espagnols, qui conquerurent l'Amerique" (1800). Pleurieu also published a fine "Atlas of the Caribbean Sea and the Coasts of North America and Newfoundland" (1776), and "Voyage autour du monde d'Etienne Marchand," with an atlas and notes on the discoveries on the northwest coast of America from 1537 till 1791 (1798).
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