Jean Baptist Christian Rocket-Aublet
BiographyVery young person, it embarks with Toulon to go to Grenade in the apothecary Don Antonio Sanchez Lopez. There remains one year there then goes back to Salon and then to Montpellier to follow the courses of Fitzgerald and François Boissier de Sauvages (1706-1767). It goes then to Lyon where it meets Jussieu, then returns to the service of the hospitals of the armies of infant Dom Philippe. This use leaving him little time to herborize, it goes to Paris to follow the courses of chemistry of Guillaume-François Rouelle (1703-1770) and those of botany of the Jardin of the king. It meets various personalities: Bernard de Jussieu (1699-1777), of Bombards, D' Holbac, etc
After having planned to go to Prussia, the Company of the Indies, on a proposal from the Minister for the Navy, decides to send it to Mauritius (island of France at the time) to establish there a laboratory to provide its counters in drugs and a botanical garden. It leaves Paris in 1752 and is able the same year at the island of France (current Mauritius) to establish a pharmacy and a botanical garden there; it works there as apothecary type-setter on behalf of the French Compagnie of the Eastern Indies and remains nine years there.
While carrying out its mission (pharmacy and creation of the Grapefruit garden), Rocket-Aublet shows a good administrator. However it enters in conflict with Pierre Poivre (1719-1786) which had entrusted to him to the return its campaigns of the Indies of the seedlings of Muscadiers and girofliers. Rocket-Aublet qualifies these seedlings of " pétendus muscadiers" and on October 29th, 1755 a report addresses to the superior council of the island. Pierre Poivre refutes these charges; the future will show that it was right thanks to an expertise of Jussieu. But Rocket-Aublet lets perish the seedlings, jealous of the success of Pierre Poivre. Rocket-Aublet makes good work however. It returns to Paris in 1762 after having freed all its slaves and having married a coloured woman originating in Madagascar of which it will have a son. The same year it creates a botanical garden in Living room-of-Provence with the district of Canourgues; it introduced there catalpas, tulipiers and maples.
Hardly returned to France it is requested to go in Guyana. It receives on May 2nd, 1762 an order of the Minister to go in this country as an apothecary botanist of the king. It arrives at destination on July 23rd, 1762. In this practically unexplored country Rocket-Aublet constitutes a considerable herbarium. Patient it leaves Guyana in 1764 but passes by Saint-Domingue at the request of the count d' Estaing.
He returns to Paris in 1765 by bringing a considerable Herbier. He makes check by Bernard de Jussieu his descriptions and his drawings before making them engrave. That enables him to make appear its Histoire of the plants of Guiane Frenchwoman , Paris, 1775, decorated of almost 400 engravings in Taille-douce. He is the author of various publications on the objects and the trade of the Guyana. Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) enters in possession of this herbarium three months before its death. It is only in 1953 only that it joined the other herbaria of the national Muséum of natural history.
- History of the plants of Guiane Frenchwoman arranged according to the sexual method (P. - F. Didot young, London and Paris, four volumes, 1775). Specimen digitized by the SICD of the universities of Strasbourg.
- Marseilles. 2.600 years of scientific discoveries , Publications of the University of Provence, 2002.
- botanists in Marseilles and in Provence of XVIe at the XIXe century , Marseilles, 1982.
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