In the third year of the French Revolution the National Assembly sent the d'Entrecasteaux expedition to the Pacific to search for the missing explorer La Perouse. Like the nation itself the expedition was divided by politics; there were both republicans and monarchists aboard. And besides servicemen there were civilians-the naturalists, whose interests often cut across those of mariners. The archives of the expedition, which include a wealth of candid and amusing private journals, reveal how d'Entrecasteaux, despite tensions that strained personal friendships, commanded enough respect to keep the expedition operational. Though it found no trace of La Perouse it made valuable discoveries in geography, botany and anthropology. The voyage, however, ended at Sourabaya in irreversible division with d'Entrecasteaux dead, the arch-monarchist d Auribeau in command and the French receiving after two years their first news from home of regicide, terror and war. The narrative concludes by tracing the adventurous paths taken by survivors to reach home, and the stratagems they used to save the records of the expedition.