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Tricentenary of the expedition of Jacob Roggeveen in Polynesia
The Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen was born in Middelburg on February 1, 1659 and died on January 31, 1729 in the same city of The Netherlands.He began a career as a notary and then after a
doctorate in law at the University of Harderwijk, he left in 1707 as a lawyer in Batavia (now Jakarta).
In 1715, he returned to Middelburg to work on the expedition project, conceived by his father Arend
Roggeveen, with his brother Jan. Having served in the Dutch East India Company, he obtained in 1721 from the West India Company, the handling of an expedition to discover the mythical Terra Australis. Roggeveen armed three ships and recruited officers under his command: the Den Arend (Cpt Jan Koster), the Thienhoven (Cpt Cornelis Bouman) and the Africaansche Galey (Cpt Roelof Rosendaal). The expedition left the port of Texel on August 1, 1721. After crossing the Atlantic and along the coasts of South America, he passed Cape Horn and entered the Pacific Ocean in January 1722. Roggeveen made his first discovery on April 5, 1722. This Easter Sunday, he approaches the shores of this small island, which he calls “Easter Island”. Forced by bad weather, the Dutch navigator set off for the west, heading for the Tuamotu Islands, then known as the “Dangerous Archipelago”. Thus the Africaansche Galey sank on the reef of the Takapoto
atoll in May 1722. During the disaster he managed to save some food and a part of the crew
(5 sailors will take the opportunity to run away). The crew affected by this disaster, decides to stay away from the islands, discovering remotely the other islands of the Tuamotu (Arutua, Apataki, Rangiroa).
He approaches the first high island, Makatea, and decides to drop anchor to regain strength and refuel in water and food. Unfortunately, the frightened in habitants, push back the sailors with stones from the top of steep cliffs. On 06 June, Roggeveen was the first European to discover the island of Maupiti and Bora Bora named “the pearl of the Pacific”. After crossing Polynesia, Roggeveen decided to continue west despite the lack of food and the fatigue of the crew reached by scurvy.
The expedition reached the Samoa Islands, New Guinea and Java, the ships were then confiscated
for having violated the monopoly agreements of the rival company and Roggeveen was arrested. Finally released by the justice of La Haye, he returned to his country where he will retire.

Fare Rata, the Polynesia Post Office is pleased to share this extraordinary expedition of Jacob
Roggeveen to Polynesia.

a href="https://www.farerata.pf/sites/default/files/2022-05%20Roggeveen%20Circulaire.pdf">Find your philatelic circular here

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