The Mazarine Library has recently acquired four manuscripts making a remarkable set of accounts of naval campaigns in the eighteenth century. Written by Gédéon Nicolas de Voutron (1670-1733), a naval officer and brother-in-law to Admiral Duquesne-Guitton (1648-1724), two of the manuscripts are autographs and the others are contemporary copies. We know of only two other manuscripts by Gédéon Nicolas de Voutron, for the 1696 and 1702 campaigns, and they are now in private hands.
The manuscripts acquired by the Library cover the campaigns of 1689, 1704, 1706 (Plaisance and Acadie) and 1707-1708 (Saint Domingo) and recount, in a humorous, highly personal style, not only the nautical events but also the author's experiences at sea and on land during these campaigns.
After the recent donations by Marcel Chatillon (Antilles – 2003) and Jean-Claude Nardin (Africa – 2013), this acquisition enriches a very large collection on the history of voyages and France's first colonial empire.
The four manuscripts are listed in Calames.