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Day of the Stamp. 250 Years of Foreign Scientific Expeditions and Travelers to Iceland

In January 1767, a French naval officer, Yves Joseph de Kerguelen de Trémarec, received instructions from Louis XV ordering him to sail to Iceland for the assistance of fishermen from Northern France operating in Icelandic waters. The vessel used for this expedition was the frigate La Folle („She who surprises“) with a crew of 200 men. A year later Kerguelen returned to Iceland on the corvette L’Hirondelle (“The Swallow”). His book about these expeditions to Iceland was published in 1771 under the name “Relation d’un voyage dans la mer du Nord” (Account of a journey on the North Sea). In it he gives an account of his research and discoveries during the two journeys to Iceland. Kerguelen’s reports were important both militarily and scientifically. His writings are considered to be a reliable source since in contradistinction to those who previously had written about the country, he had no stake in the dispute. Among other distinguished scientists who came to Iceland and wrote about the country were Sir John Stanley, Sir George Stewart McKenzie, William Jackson Hooker and Ebenezer Henderson.