This island was discovered by the Spanish explorer Juan Sebastián
Elcano on March 18, 1522, along his first world circumnavigation.
Elcano did not name the island, however.
Having found the island unnamed, the Dutch
captain Anthonie van Diemen named it Nieuw Amsterdam (Dutch for New
Amsterdam) after his ship in 1633. Map of Île Amsterdam.
French Captain François Péron, was marooned three years on this
island. Péron had been on the French ship Emélie, which wrecked on
New Amsterdam in 1792. He was rescued and taken to Australia in
1795. Peron's Memoires, in which he describes his survival alone on
New Amsterdam, were published in a limited edition and are now an
expensive collectors' item.
The islands of Île Amsterdam and Île Saint-Paul were attached to
Madagascar in 1924 and hence became a French colony.