Jules Dumont D'Urville - Death and Legacy

Death and Legacy

On 8 May 1842 Dumont and his family boarded a train from Versailles to Paris after seeing water games celebrating the king. Near Meudon the train’s locomotive derailed, the wagons rolled and the tender’s coal ended up on the front of the train and caught fire. Dumont's whole family died in the flames of the first French railway disaster, generally known as the Versailles train crash. Dumont's remains were identified by Dumontier, doctor on board the Astrolabe and a phrenologist.

Dumont was buried in the cemetery of Montparnasse in Paris.

This tragedy led to the end of the practice in France of locking passengers in their train compartments.

He is the author of The New Zealanders: A story of Austral lands - likely to be the first novel written about fictional Maori characters.

Later, in honour of his many valuable chartings, the D'Urville Sea off Antarctica; D'Urville Island in the Joinville Island group in Antarctica; Cape d'Urville, Irian Jaya, Indonesia; Mount D'Urville, Auckland Island; and D'Urville Island in New Zealand were named after him. The Dumont d'Urville Station on Antarctica is also named after him, as is the Rue Dumont d'Urville, a street near the Champs-Élysées in Paris' 8th district.

Dumont d'Urville himself named Pepin Island and Adélie Land in Antarctica after his wife, and Croisilles Harbour for his mother's family.

A French naval transport ship employed in French Polynesia is named after him; as was a 1931 sloop which served in World War II.

Read more about this topic:  Jules Dumont D'Urville

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