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Collection Overview

Creator:
Matraire, Pierre, 1791-
Title:
Pierre Matraire Naval Journal and Documents
Repository:
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/rr1721094
Dates:
1792-1827 (mostly 1813-1827)
Size:
1 box and 0.4 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box B-000898
Language:
French

Abstract

Consists of a journal and other documents of French second class naval officer Pierre Matraire (b. 1791), regarding his service as an accountant on the frigate L'Adrienne (also known as L'Aurore), and later, under Governor of Egypt Muhammad 'Alī Bāshā (1769-1849) with the Turkish-Egyptian fleet during the Greek War of Independence.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

Consists of a journal and other documents of French second class naval officer Pierre Matraire (b. 1791), regarding his service as an accountant in the French Navy, and later, under Governor of Egypt Muhammad 'Alī Bāshā (1769-1849) with the Turkish-Egyptian fleet during the Greek War of Independence.

Materials primarily span from 1813 to 1827, with earlier documents mostly relating to Matraire's role as accountant for the French frigate L'Adrienne, which was also known as L'Aurore after 1814. Documents from this period consist of statements of receipts and expenditures, lists of daily rations for the ship's personnel, lists of missing objects and surpluses, and other lists generated in the process of examining and certifying the ship's accounts. There are also administrative documents and letters pertaining to Matraire's assignments and reassignments within the French Navy, including a full list of his services from 1803 to 1816.

Matraire left France in 1827 for Alexandria, Egypt, to serve under Muhammad 'Alī Bāshā and his son Ibrāhīm Pasha (1789-1848). The most significant item in the collection is Matraire's fifty-two-page journal of his time aboard Egyptian Grand Admiral Moharram Bey's frigate La Guerrière en route to Navarino Bay (Pylos, Greece) to engage the Greeks and their allies. This account, titled "Journal historique et nautique de la campagne de la flotte turco-egyptienne, entreprise contre les Grecs," details the equipment on board the ship and contains daily entries from the ship's departure on August 5th, 1827, until October 24th. In addition to Alī and Bey, Matraire's accounts mention other figures involved in the Greek War of Independence, including Captain Jean-Marie Letellier (1767-1830) and Admiral Henri de Rigny (1782-1835). Following directions from Admiral de Rigny that all Frenchmen abandon the Turkish-Egyptian fleet to avoid confrontation with French and allied vessels, Matraire left La Guerrière several days prior to the Battle of Navarino and returned on an Austrian ship. Matraire's journal was likely composed from his notes and correspondence after he returned to France. The collection also includes his French passport from March 1827 authorizing his travel to Alexandria.

There are also several items related to Matraire's military honors, as well as to his participation in the Grand Orient de France. Materials pertaining to military honors include a letter and certificate authorizing Matraire to wear the Décoration du Lys, as well as a pin with the fleur-de-lis insignia. Materials regarding Freemasonry include an illustrated certificate of membership in the Saint-Jean Lodge of the Grand Orient de France and an embroidered Masonic stole. Also present is a French assignat from 1792.

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically.

Collection Creator Biography:

Matraire, Pierre, 1791-

Pierre Matraire was born in Toulon, France, on May 8th, 1791. He was a second class naval officer and clerk who served as an accountant for the French frigate L'Adrienne (also known as L'Aurore). In March 1827, Matraire left for Alexandria, Egypt, to serve under Governor of Egypt Muhammad 'Alī Bāshā (1769-1849). He returned in October of the same year to avoid fighting against his countrymen in the Battle of Navarino. Matraire was also a Freemason active in the Grand Orient de France.

Collection History

Acquisition:

Purchased in 2017 with matching funds provided by the Program in Hellenic Studies with the support of the Stanley J. Seeger Hellenic Fund (AM 2017-143).

Appraisal

No materials were separated from the collection during 2017 processing.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Kelly Bolding in May 2017. Finding aid written by Kelly Bolding in May 2017.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Pierre Matraire Naval Journal and Documents; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/rr1721094
Location:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box B-000898