Hankow – 4th June 1868


                                                        Foreign Settlement, Hankow  (late C19th)

In the roadstead was one of those rapid steamers which does the service between llan-keou and Shanghai. Such a means of locomotion had passed for us in the region of dreams; we looked forward to ascertaining its reality. So we set off on June 10 on an American steamer, the Pit.

On June 12, we dropped anchor in the harbor of Shanghai. The most gracious hospitality awaited us at the French consulate. We rediscovered in Mme Brenier de Montmorand’s house that French charm and elegance which, alas, we had forgotten the tradition of. The barbarians she received were happy to show her their respectful gratitude there. The French colony of Shanghai made a point of celebrating the explorers. A banquet affordfed us by our compatriots gives me the opportunity to thank them for their enthusiastic and patriotic reception.

On June 19, we left Shanghai on the Messageries liner the Dupleix; we arrived in Saigon on the 29th. Rear Admiral Ohier, governor of French Cochinchina, had only received the report two days before in which I announced to him the death of M. de Lagrée. This loss was keenly felt in the colony, where the memory of the service and the eminent qualities of this officer lived in the memory of all.

Honors extraordinary were returned to his coffin which was buried in the cemetery of Saigon. Today, a small monument recalls this good man, this valiant soldier of France. If anything can console his people, it is the thought that he died in the most enviable field of honor: that of science and civilization.

Garnier, Le Tour de Monde (series): 648-649

Tomb of de Lagree in Saigon

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