Contents and Arrangement

Certificate of Service for Pierre Matraire on L'Adrienne, 1813 March 1

1 folder

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information


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.

Collection History

Archival Appraisal Information:

No materials were separated from the collection during 2017 processing.

Access & Use

Access Restrictions:

Open for research.

Conditions for Reproduction and Use:

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.

Credit this material:

Certificate of Service for Pierre Matraire on L'Adrienne; Pierre Matraire Naval Journal and Documents, C1564, Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

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