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- "Your name will go down in history with mine if you supply the funds and the ship!"
- ―Godin to de Fayet, seeking funding for his expedition, 1735.[src]
Louis Godin (1704 – 1760) was a French astronomer and geologist.
In 1724, Godin gained prominence in the scientific community when he published his astronomical tables, earning him membership in the French Academy of Sciences.
Godin's success enabled him to participate in the French Geodesic Mission to Ecuador alongside his cousin, Jean, but he proved to be a power-hungry and ineffective leader. When his expedition was stranded in Saint-Domingue in 1732, Louis fell in love with Guzan, one of the courtesans from La Dame en Rose, and misappropriated expedition funds by lavishing her with expensive gifts.
In mid 1735, Godin had returned to Saint-Domingue, where he actively petitioned the French governor of Port-au-Prince, Pierre, Marquis de Fayet, to provide more funding and allow the use of a French warship in the Geodesic Mission, rather than wait for an available Spanish ship. Though de Fayet was able to correctly deduce that Godin had embezzled from his own expedition and was planning on using the mission as a front for smuggling, he ultimately agreed to Godin's requests, as the expedition would make the slave trade more efficient.
After spending six months in Saint-Domingue, Godin was eventually granted a French brig, the Vautour, under the stipulation that his Spanish chaperons, Antonio de Ulloa and Jorge Juan y Santacilia, be allowed on board. As Godin oversaw the final details of his voyage with a harbormaster, the Assassin Adéwalé swapped out the Vautour's manifest, ensuring that his recruits could infiltrate Godin's expedition and share its findings with the Assassins and the Maroon rebellion.
As the Vautour left Saint-Domingue, she came under attack by pirates. Timely intervention by the Experto Crede saved the Vautour, with Godin likely not realizing who it was that intervened. Though the expedition was ultimately successful, much of his findings were overshadowed by a concurrent expedition to the North Pole.