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|Abel Aubert Dupetit Thouars|
Abel Aubert Dupetit Thouars
3 August 1793|
La Fessardière, near Saumur, France
|Died||16 March 1864
|Years of service||1804–1858|
He was born at the castle of La Fessardière, near Saumur. His uncle Aristide Aubert Dupetit-Thouars was of the heroes of the Battle of the Nile. He joined the French Navy in 1804, where he was a young hand in the Boulogne fleet.
Between 1823-25 he sailed Inconstant to Brazil, and remained her captain on the Brazil station. He was promoted to Commander (Capitaine de frégate) in 1824.
He was later put in charge of the Southern Seas command, in the Pacific Ocean. In 1834 he played a key role in protecting French shipping interests against the Peruvians.
He became "Capitaine de vaisseau" on 6 January 1834, and accomplished a circumnavigation between 1836 and 1839 on Vénus.
He was made Rear-Admiral (French: Contre-amiral) on 12 July 1841, in charge of the Pacific Naval Division. His mission was to take possession of the Marquesas Islands. In Tahiti, he entered into a confrontation with Queen Pōmare IV and the English missionary and Consul George Pritchard (1796–1883), and finally expelled him and established a French protectorate over the territory. He was initially denounced for his actions by the French government, which feared a conflict with Great Britain. Relations between France and Great Britain soured considerably during the reign of Louis-Philippe, due to this "Pritchard Affair".
Dupetit Thouars became a Vice-Admiral (French: Vice-amiral) in 1846, and retired in 1858. He died in Paris in 1864.
He had no children, but adopted the son of his sister, known as Abel Nicolas Bergasse Dupetit Thouars, who also became an Admiral, and played an important role during the Boshin War in Japan. This botanist is denoted by the author abbreviation A.Thouars when citing a botanical name.