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Get to know JEANNE BARET as Google celebrates her today

Google Doodle Celebrates the 280th birthday of French botanist and voyager Jeanne Baret, the first woman to have finished a journey of the circumnavigating of the globe.

Jeanne Baret was a member of Louis Antoine de Bougainville’s colonial expedition on the ships La Boudeuse and Étoile in 1766–1769. Baret is recognized as the first woman to have completed a voyage of circumnavigation of the globe.

Jeanne Baret joined the expedition disguised as a man, calling herself Jean Baret. She enlisted as valet and assistant to the expedition’s naturalist, Philibert Commerçon (anglicized as Commerson), shortly before Bougainville’s ships sailed from France. According to Bougainville’s account, Baret was herself an expert botanist.

She was born on July 27, 1740, in the village of La Comelle in the Burgundy region of France. Her record of baptism survives and identifies her as the legitimate issue of Jean Baret and Jeanne Pochard.

She told Bougainville that she had been orphaned and lost her fortune in a lawsuit before taking to disguising herself as a man. Her mother died 15 months after Jeanne was born and her father when she was 15.

On May 17, 1774, she married Jean Dubernat, a non-commissioned officer in the French Army who was most likely on the island on his way home to France. Jeanne brought small fortune to her marriage, presumably from the tavern and perhaps other business ventures she ran on the island.

There is no record of exactly when Baret and her husband arrived in France, thus completing her voyage of circumnavigation. Most likely it was sometime in 1775. In April 1776, she received the money that was due to her under Commerson’s will after applying directly to the Attorney General. With this money, she settled with Dubernat in his native village of Saint-Aulaye where they bought property with Jeanne’s wealth and lived with both Dubernat and Jeanne’s nieces and nephews.

Jeanne Baret was born July 27, 1740 and lived till August 5, 1807

Put together by: Jolaade Oladimeji – Senior Editor at Ytainment News

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