Louis Antoine de Bougainville

Bougainville, Louis Antoine de (lwē äNtwänˈ də bōgăNvēlˈ) [key], 1729–1811, French navigator. He accompanied Montcalm to Canada as aide-de-camp, and he later (c.1764) established a colony on the Falkland Islands but had to surrender the settlement to Spain (1766). Accompanied by naturalists and astronomers, he made a voyage around the world (1767–69), visiting Tahiti in the Society Islands, the Samoan group, and the New Hebrides (now Vanuatu), and rediscovering the Solomon Islands, the largest of which (Bougainville, now a part of Papua New Guinea) is named for him. In the American Revolution he fought Admiral Hood at Martinique. His name is also given to the strait between Bougainville and Choiseul Island, to a strait in Vanuatu, and to the bougainvillaea vine. Bougainville's Description d'un voyage autour du monde (2 vol., 1771–72; tr. 1772) helped to popularize Rousseau's theories on the morality of humanity in its natural state and inspired Diderot to write (1772) his Supplément au voyage de Bougainville, a defense of sexual freedom.

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