De Maupertuis The degree measurements by de Maupertuis in the Tornionlaakso Valley 1736-1737
 Main PageThe shape of the earthThe ExpeditionLife by the riverPersonal GalleryReferences

The Lapps
Observations on nature
Religious life

The dates in Outhier's journal follow the Gregorian Calendar. The Gregorian Calendar was 12 days ahead the calendar in use in Sweden - Finland at the time of the expedition. The Gregorian Calendar was introduced in Sweden in 1753.


Life by the Tornionjoki river in the 18th century


Apart from recording the research details described both Maupertuis in his journals and above all Abbé Réginald Outhier in his book 'Journal of a Voyage to the North in 1736 - 1737' much of the ways of life in the Tornionlaakso Valley. Outhier's travel accounts furthered significantly the knowledge of the Far North. The book was published in several editions in French and it was translated into German in 1759 and into English in 1808. The Swedish translation was published in 1982 and the Finnish translation in 1975.

In his book Outhier describes the inhabitants of the Tornionlaakso Valley as clean, persistent, skilful and hospitable. The French experiments progressed well, the schedules held and along the river valley in Tornio, Ylitornio and Pello the Frenchmen came across with local people skilled in foreign languages. The locals showed great willingness to help. Accommodation and food were always available. The mail arrived in Tornio once a week and was quickly delivered from there further north.

In Pello the Frenchmen were visited by vicar Brunnius from Ylitornio and assistant vicar Antilius from Köngäs. Antilius presented the Lapp calendar the rune-staff to the expedition members. He also brought food and ale with him and in return received '' many bottles of good French spirits''. During the winter the Frenchmen and the burghers of Tornio got well acquainted with each other. Festivities were alternately arranged.


Réginald Outhier, Journal of a Voyage to the North in the Years 1736 - 1737:
On Life in Tornio (p. 308)

Information about the site

main page | shape of the earth | expedition | life by the river | personal gallery | references
Visitors to Lapland