Comte de Jean Francois de Galaup de la Perouse
A monument was erected by Messrs de Bougainville and Ducampier, commanders of La Thetis and L`Esperance on the site La Perouse visited in 1788. « The last place from any news of him was forthcoming ». Coins from the reign of Louis XVIII are set within the foundations.
The foundation stone was laid by Hyacinthe de Bougainville on the 6th of September 1825 on land gifted by Governor Brisbane. Each side of the monument contains a series of plaques.
The column is sited within an area also enclosing the grave of Friar Le Receveur, a Franciscan scientist with La Perouse expedition who died here.
Comte de La Pérouse (1741-1788) was a French explorer and naval officer who landed in Sydney just five days after Captain Arthur Phillip set foot on Botany Bay, January 26, 1788. La Perouse established a camp on the northern shore, now called after him, and maintained good relations with the English during his six-week stay. He sailed on 10 March 1788 and was not heard of again. His disappearance led the French government in 1791 to equip another expedition under Bruny d’Entrecasteaux to look for him, but the search was fruitless. It was not until 1828 that the mystery was solved, when Dumont d’Urville ascertained that the La Pérouse expedition was wrecked at Vanikoro, Santa Cruz, north of the New Hebrides.
Yesterday Commodore De BOUGAINVILLE, and all the French Officers, proceeded by land to Botany-bay, where the noble Commodore laid the first stone of a monumental inscription to the memory of the immortal LA PEROUSE, the north head of that bay being supposed to be the last spot of New Holland on which that great Man touched.
The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW), 8 September 1825.