Thomas Vasse

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Thomas Timothée Vasse (27 February 1774 in Dieppe, Seine-Maritime presumed 8 June 1801) was a French sailor who was lost in the surf on the south west coast of Australia in 1801, and presumed drowned. From Vasse's name is taken the name the Vasse, an early name for Busselton, for the land adjacent to where the incident occurred, the town of Vasse, and also a number of geographical features in the area including Vasse River and Vasse Inlet.

France Republic in Europe with several non-European regions

France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.02 million. France is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.

Australia Country in Oceania

Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 26 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide.

Busselton City in Western Australia

Busselton is a city in the South West region of the Australian state of Western Australia. As of the 2016 census, Busselton had a population of 25,329. Founded in 1832 by the Bussell family, Busselton is 220 km (140 mi) south-west of Perth, the capital of Western Australia. Busselton was voted Western Australia's top tourist town in 1995, 1996, and 2005.

Born in Dieppe and baptised Timothée Thomas Joseph Ambroise Vasse, Vasse was a helmsman second class on the Naturaliste during the 1801–04 expedition of the Géographe and Naturaliste under Nicolas Baudin, which explored much of the south west coast of New Holland (now Western Australia). On 30 May 1801, the expedition anchored in a bay that they named Géographe Bay, and a party went ashore. On the evening of 8 June, during the onset of a wild storm, an attempt was made to return the landed party to the ships. One of the ships' boats was anchored beyond the surf, and ropes were used to haul people from the shore to the boat. Vasse, who was said to be a strong swimmer but was also said in some reports to have been drunk, was lost in the heavy surf and presumed drowned.

French corvette <i>Naturaliste</i> French Navy corvette

Naturaliste was one of the two-vessel Salamandre-class of galiotes à bombes of the French Navy. Under Jacques Hamelin, and together with Géographe she took part in the exploration of Australia of Nicolas Baudin.

French corvette <i>Géographe</i> Serpente-class corvette of the French Navy launched in 1800. From 1807 she served as a powder hulk in the Caudran district at Lorient.

Géographe was a 20-gun Serpente-class corvette of the French Navy. She was named Uranie in 1797, and renamed Galatée in 1799, still on her building site. Her builder refused to launch her, as he had not been paid to that time. Finally launched in June 1800, she was renamed Géographe on 23 August 1800.

Nicolas Baudin French explorer

Nicolas Thomas Baudin was a French explorer, cartographer, naturalist and hydrographer.

A number of stories subsequently emerged that claimed that Vasse had survived. Some time between 1804 and 1807, a rumour that Vasse had survived appeared in some Paris newspapers. Vasse was reported to have been washed ashore, walked 300 miles (480 km) south, and been picked up by an American whaler which took him as far as the English Channel. He was then said to have been arrested by an English ship, and incarcerated in an English jail. According to François Péron, enquiries into the story concluded that it was a fabrication.

Paris Capital of France

Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, diplomacy, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts. The City of Paris is the centre and seat of government of the Île-de-France, or Paris Region, which has an estimated official 2019 population of 12,213,364, or about 18 percent of the population of France. The Paris Region had a GDP of €709 billion in 2017. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit Worldwide Cost of Living Survey in 2018, Paris was the second most expensive city in the world, after Singapore, and ahead of Zürich, Hong Kong, Oslo and Geneva. Another source ranked Paris as most expensive, on a par with Singapore and Hong Kong, in 2018.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or simply America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe. Most of the country is located in central North America between Canada and Mexico. With an estimated population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City.

Whaler specialized ship designed for whaling

A whaler or whaling ship is a specialized ship, designed, or adapted, for whaling: the catching or processing of whales. The former includes the whale catcher – a steam or diesel-driven vessel with a harpoon gun mounted at its bow. The latter includes such vessels as the sail or steam-driven whaleship of the 16th to early 20th centuries and the floating factory or factory ship of the modern era. There have also been vessels which combined the two activities, such as the bottlenose whalers of the late 19th and early 20th century, and catcher/factory ships of the modern era.

In 1838, George Fletcher Moore questioned some of the local Indigenous Australians and was told that Vasse had not drowned. Moore wrote in his diary:

George Fletcher Moore politician, public servant, diarist

George Fletcher Moore was a prominent early settler in colonial Western Australia, and "one [of] the key figures in early Western Australia's ruling elite". He conducted a number of exploring expeditions; was responsible for one of the earliest published records of the language of the Australian Aborigines of the Perth area; and was the author of Diary of Ten Years Eventful Life of an Early Settler in Western Australia.

Indigenous Australians are the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia, descended from groups that existed in Australia and surrounding islands before British colonisation. The time of arrival of the first Indigenous peoples on the continent and nearby islands is a matter of debate among researchers. The earliest conclusively human remains found in Australia are those of Mungo Man LM3 and Mungo Lady, which have been dated to around 50,000 years BP. Recent archaeological evidence from the analysis of charcoal and artefacts revealing human use suggests a date as early as 65,000 BP. Luminescence dating has suggested habitation in Arnhem Land as far back as 60,000 years BP. Evidence of fires in South-West Australia suggest 'human presence in Australia 120,000 years ago', although more research is required. Genetic research has inferred a date of habitation as early as 80,000 years BP. Other estimates have ranged up to 100,000 years and 125,000 years BP.

Some natives of that neighbourhood recollect him. They treated him kindly and fed him but he lingered on the seacoast looking for his vessel. He gradually became very thin from anxiety, exposure and poor diet. At last the natives were absent for a time on a hunting expedition and on their return they found him dead on the beach, his body much swollen.

Moore initially published this story in a letter to The Perth Gazette .

The West Australian, widely known as The West is the only locally edited daily newspaper published in Perth, Western Australia, and is owned by Seven West Media (SWM), as is the state's other major newspaper, The Sunday Times. The West is the second-oldest continuously produced newspaper in Australia, having been published since 1833. The West tends to have conservative leanings, and has mostly supported the Liberal–National Party Coalition. The West is Australia's fourth largest newspaper by circulation, and is the only newspaper in the top 20 not owned by either News Limited or Nine Publishing.

In 1841, Georgiana Molloy related a different story of Vasse's survival in a letter to Captain James Mangles, but gave no provenance for her version of events. She wrote:

Georgiana Molloy botanical collector

Georgiana Molloy was an early settler in Western Australia, who is remembered as one of the first botanical collectors in the colony.

Dr Carr... has undertaken to reclaim the Bones of Mons. Vasse, the Gentm. from who this river takes its Name. Some society in Paris has offered a reward or present for them. These natives know where they are, in the vicinity of Cape Naturaliste, and are now employed getting them, or for what I know, have got them. This event happened about thirty years since; this unfortunate Gentm. came in shore to explore, was seized, strangled and the spear went in at the right side of the heart.

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