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Alexander von Humboldt: „Baron Humboldt“, in: ders., Sämtliche Schriften digital, herausgegeben von Oliver Lubrich und Thomas Nehrlich, Universität Bern 2021. URL: <> [abgerufen am 03.12.2023].

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Titel Baron Humboldt
Jahr 1804
Ort Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
in: Poulson’s American Daily Advertiser 33:8663 (11. September 1804), S. [2].
Sprache Englisch
Typografischer Befund Antiqua; Spaltensatz; Auszeichnung: Kursivierung; Fußnoten mit Asterisken.
Textnummer Druckausgabe: II.23
Dateiname: 1804-Baron_Humboldt-06-neu
Seitenanzahl: 1
Zeichenanzahl: 23712

Weitere Fassungen
Baron Humboldt (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1804, Englisch)
Notice d’un voyage aux tropiques, exécuté par MM. Humboldt et Bonpland, en 1799, 1800, 1801, 1802, 1803 et 1804. Par J.-C. Delamétherie (Paris, 1804, Französisch)
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Baron Humboldt (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1804, Englisch)
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Baron Humboldt (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1804, Englisch)
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Travels of Baron Humboldt (Kingston, New York, 1804, Englisch)
Baron Humboldt (Washington, District of Columbia, 1804, Englisch)
Baron Humboldt (Amherst, New Hampshire, 1804, Englisch)
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Baron Humboldt (New Bedford, Massachusetts, 1804, Englisch)
Baron Humboldt (Dover, New Hampshire, 1804, Englisch)
Auszug aus Delametheriés vorläufiger Nachricht von der durch die Herren v. Humboldt und Bonpland in den Jahren 1799, 1800, 1801, 1802, 1803 und 1804 nach den Wendekreisen unternommenen Reise (Wien, 1804, Deutsch)
Reise der Herren von Humboldt und Bonpland nach den Wendekreisen In den Jahren 1799 bis 1804. Eine gedrängte Uebersicht des Auszugs ihrer Memoiren v. J. C. Delametherie. Nach dem Französischen übertragen von Schirges Dr. (Hannover, 1805, Deutsch)
J. C. Delametherie’s vorläufige Nachricht von der durch die Herren v. Humboldt und Bonpland in den Jahren 1799, 1800, 1801, 1802, 1803 und 1804 nach den Wendekreisen unternommenen Reise (Weimar, 1805, Deutsch)
Short Account of the Travels between the Tropics, by Messrs. Humboldt and Bonpland, in 1799, 1800, 1801, 1802, 1803, and 1804. By J. C. Delametherie (London, 1805, Englisch)
J. C. Delametherie’s vorläufige Nachricht von der durch die Herren von Humboldt und Bonpland in den Jahren 1799, 1800, 1801, 1802, 1803 und 1804 nach den Wendekreisen unternommenen Reise (Salzburg, 1805, Deutsch)
Account of the Travels between the Tropics of Messrs. Humboldt and Bonpland, in 1799, 1800, 1801, 1802, 1803, and 1804. By J. C. Delamétherie (London, 1805, Englisch)
Travels in South America (Edinburgh, 1805, Englisch)
Voyage de Humboldt et Bonpland en Amérique, tiré du magasin littéraire de Philadelphie, publié en juillet 1804 (Paris, 1807, Französisch)


[We have copied the following Article from theLiterary Magazine, and American Register,” nowpublishing in this city, by Messrs. John Con-rad & Co. ]
ORIGINAL COMMUNICATION. THE following abstract of the AmericanTravels of the celebrated baron Humboldt and his companion Bonpland, has beendrawn up from notes which the former haskindly furnished, and will supersede the ma-ny very incorrect accounts hitherto publishedrelative to this interesting object.

Baron Humboldt, having travelled fromthe year 1790, as a naturalist, through Ger-many, Poland, France, Switzerland, andthrough parts of England, Italy, Hungary,and Spain, came to Paris in 1798, when hereceived an invitation, from the directors ofthe national museum, to accompany captain Baudin in his voyage round the world.—Citizen Alexander Aime Goujon Bonpland,a native of Rochelle, and brought up in theParis museum, was also to have accompani-ed them; when on the point of departing,the whole plan was suspended until a morefavourable opportunity, owing to the re-commencement of the war with Austria, andto the consequent want of funds. Mr. Humboldt, who, from 1792, had con-ceived the plan of travelling through Indiaat his own expence, with a view of addingto the knowledge of the sciences connectedwith natural history, then resolved to followthe learned men, who had gone on the expe-dition to Egypt.—His plan was to go to Al-giers in the Swedish frigate which carriedthe consul Skoldebrandt, to follow the cara-van which goes from Algiers to Mecca, go-ing through Egypt to Arabia, and thence bythe Persian gulph to the English East-Indiaestablishments. The war which unexpect-edly broke out in October 1798, betweenFrance and the Barbary powers, and thetroubles in the East, prevented Mr. Hum-boldt from embarking at Marseilles, where hehad been fruitlessly two months waiting toproceed. Impatient at this delay, and con-tinuing firm in his determination to go to Egypt, he went to Spain, hoping to passmore readily under the Spanish flag fromCarthagena to Algiers and Tunis. He tookwith him the large collection of philosophi-cal, chemical, and astronomical instruments,which he had purchased in England andFrance. From a happy concurrence of circum-stances, he obtained, in February, 1799,from the court of Madrid, a permission tovisit the Spanish colonies of the two Ameri-cas, a permission which was granted with aliberality and frankness, which was honour-able to the government and to a philosophicage. After a residence of some months atthe Spanish court, during which time theking showed a strong personal interest in theplan, Mr. Humboldt, in June, 1799, left Eu-rope, accompanied by Mr. Bonpland, who,to a profound knowledge in botany and zoo-logy, added an indefatigable zeal. It is withthis friend that Mr. Humboldt has accom-plished, at his own expence, his travels in thetwo hemispheres, by land and sea, probablythe most extensive which any individual hasever undertaken. These two travellers left Corunna in theSpanish ship Pizarro, for the Canary islands,where they ascended to the crater of the Peakof Teyde, and made experiments on the ana-lysis of the air. In July they arrived at theport of Cumana, in South America. In1799, 1800, they visited the coast of Paria,the missions of the Chaymas Indians, theprovinces of New Andalusia (a countrywhich had been rent by the most dreadfulearthquakes, the hottest, and yet the mosthealthy, in the world) of New Barcelona, ofVenezuela, and of Spanish Guayana.—InJanuary, 1800, they left Caraccas to visitthe beautiful vallies of Aragua, where thegreat lake of Valencia recals to the mind theviews of the lake of Geneva, embellished bythe majesty of the vegetation of the tropics.From Porto Cabello they crossed, to thesouth, the immense plains of Calabozo, of Apure, and of the Oronoco, also los Lla-nos, a desert similar to those of Africa, wherein the shade (by the reverberation of heat)the thermometer of Reaumur rose to 35 and37 (111 to 115 F.) degrees. The level ofthe country for 2000 square leagues doesnot differ 5 inches. The sand every whererepresents the horizon of the sea, without ve-getation; and its dry bosom hides the cro-codiles, and the torpid boa (a species of ser-pent.) The travelling here, as in all SpanishAmerica, except Mexico, is performed onhorseback.—They passed whole days with-out seeing a palm-tree or the vestige of ahuman dwelling. At St. Fernando de A-pure, in the provinces of Varinas, Messrs. Humboldt and Bonpland began that fatigu-ing navigation of nearly 1000 marine leaguesexecuted in canoes, making a chart of thecountry by the assistance of chronometers,the satellites of Jupiter, and the lunar dis-tances. They descended the river Apure,which empties itself into the Oronoco, in 7degrees of latitude. They ascended the lastriver (passing the celebrated cataracts ofMaypure and Atures) to the mouth of theGuaviare. From thence they ascended thesmall rivers of Tabapa, Juamini, and Temi.From the mission of Sarita they crossed byland to the sources of the famous Rio Negro,which Condamine saw, where it joins the Amazon, and which he calls a sea of freshwater. About 30 Indians carried the ca-noes through woods of Mami, Lecythis, andLaurus Cinamomoides, to the cano (orcreek) of Pimichin. It was by this smallstream that the travellers entered the RioNegro, or Black River, which they descend-ed to St. Carlos, which has been erroneous-ly supposed to be placed under the equator,or just at the frontiers of Great Para, in thegovernment of Brasil. A canal from Temito Pimichin, which from the level nature ofthe ground is very practicable, would presenta fine internal communication between thePara and the province of Carracas, a com-munication infinitely shorter than that of Cas-siquiare.—From the fortress of St. Carlos onthe Rio Negro, Mr. H. went north up thatriver and the Cassiquiare to the Oronoco,and on this river to the volcano Daida or themission of the Esmeralda, near the sources ofthe Oronoco: the Indians Guaicas (a raceof men almost pigmies, very white and verywarlike) render fruitless any attempts toreach the sources themselves. From the Esmeralda Messrs. H. and B.went down the Oronoco, when the watersrose, towards its mouths at St. Thomas de laGuayana, or the Angostura. It was dur-ing this long navigation that they were in acontinued state of suffering, from want ofnourishment and shelter, from the nightrains, from living in the woods, from themosquetoes, and an infinite variety of sting-ing insects, and from the impossibility ofbathing, owing to the fierceness of the croco-dile and the little carib fish, and finally themiasmata of a burning climate. They re-turned to Cumana by the plains of Cari andthe mission of the Carib Indians, a race ofmen very different from any other, and pro-bably, after the Patagonians, the tallest andmost robust in the world. After remaining some months at NewBarcelona and Cumana, the travellers arrivedat the Havanna, after a tedious and danger-ous navigation, the vessel being in the nighton the point of striking upon the Viborarocks. Mr. H. remained three months inthe island of Cuba, where he occupied him-self in ascertaining the longitude of the Ha-vanna, and in constructing stoves on the su-gar plantations, which have since been pret-ty generally adopted. They were on thepoint of setting off for Vera Cruz, meaning,by the way of Mexico and Acapulco, to goto the Philippine Islands, and from thence,if it was possible, by Bombay and Aleppo,to Constantinople, when some false reportsrelative to Baudin’s voyage alarmed them,and made them change their plan. Thegazettes held out the idea that this navigatorwould proceed from France to Buenos Ay-res, and from thence, by Cape Horn, forChili and the coast of Peru. Mr. Humboldt had promised to Mr. Baudin and to theMuseum of Paris, that wherever he might be,he would endeavour to join the expedition,as soon as he should know of its having beencommenced. He flattered himself that hisresearches, and those of his friend Bonpland,might be more useful to science, if united tothe labours of the learned men who wouldaccompany captain Baudin. These considerations induced Mr. Hum-boldt to send his manuscripts, for 1799 and1800, direct to Europe, and to freight asmall schooner at Batabano, intending to goto Carthagena, and from thence, as quick-ly as possible, by the Isthmus of Panama,to the South Sea. He hoped to find cap-tain Baudin at Guayaquil, or at Lima, andwith him to visit New Holland, and the is-lands of the Pacific Ocean, equally interestingin a moral point of view, as by the luxuri-ance of their vegetation. It appeared imprudent to expose themanuscripts and collections already madeto the risks of this proposed navigation.These manuscripts, of the fate of which Mr.H. remained ignorant during three years,and until his arrival in Philadelphia, arriv-ed safe, but one third part of the collectionwas lost by shipwreck. Fortunately (ex-cept the insects of the Oronoco and of theRio Negro) they were only duplicates; butunhappily friar John Gonzales, monk ofthe order of St. Francis, the friend to whomthey were entrusted, perished with them.He was a young man full of ardour, whohad penetrated into this unknown world ofSpanish Guayana further than any otherEuropean. Mr. Humboldt left Batabano in March,1801, and passed to the south of the islandof Cuba, on which he determined manygeographical positions. The passage wasrendered very long by calms, and the cur-rents carried the little schooner too muchto the west, to the mouths of the Attracto.The vessel put into the river Sinu, which nobotanist had ever before visited, and theyhad a very difficult passage up to Cartha-gena. The season being too far advancedfor the South Sea navigation, the project ofcrossing the isthmus was abandoned; andanimated by the desire of being acquaintedwith the celebrated Mutis, and admiring hisimmensely rich collections of objects of na-tural history, Mr. H. determined to passsome weeks in the woods of Turbaco, andto ascend (which took forty days) the beau-tiful river of Madelaine, of the course ofwhich he sketched a chart. From Honda, our travellers ascendedthrough forests of oaks, of melastoma, and of cinchona (the tree which affords the Peruvianbark), to St. Fe de Bogota, capital of thekingdom of New Grenada, situated in afine plain, elevated 1360 toises (of sixFrench feet) above the level of the sea.The superb collections of Mutis, the majes-tic cataract of the Tequedama (falls of 98toises height) the mines of Mariquita, St.Ana, and of Zipaquira, the natural bridgeof Scononza (three stones thrown togetherin the manner of an arch, by an earthquake),these curious objects stopped the progressof Messrs. Humboldt and Bonpland untilthe month of September, 1801. At this time, notwithstanding the rainyseason had commenced, they undertook thejourney to Quito, and passed the Andes ofQuindiu, which are snowy mountains co-vered with wax palm-trees (palmiers a cire),with passe flores (passion flowers) of thegrowth of trees, storax, and bambusa (bam-boo). They were, during 13 days, obligedto pass on foot through places dreadfullyswampy, and without any traces of popu-lation. From the village of Carthago, in thevalley of Cauca, they followed the course ofthe Choco, the country of Platina, whichwas there found in round pieces of basalteand green rock (grein stein of Werner), andfossil wood. They pass by Buga to Po-payan, a bishop’s see, and situated near thevolcanoes of Sotara and Purace, a most pic-turesque situation, and enjoying the mostdelicious climate in the world, the thermo-meter of Reamur keeping constantly at 16to 18 (68 to 72 Fahr.) They ascended tothe crater of the volcano of Purace, whosemouth, in the middle of snow, throws outvapours of sulphurous hydrogene, with con-tinued and frightful rumbling. From Popayan they passed by the danger-ous defiles of Almager, avoiding the infect-ed and contagious valley of Patia, to Posto,and from this town, even now situated atthe foot of a burning volcano, by Tuquerasand the provinces of Pastos, a flat portion ofcountry, fertile in European grain, but ele-vated more than 1500 to 1600 toises abovethe towns of Ibarra and Quito. They arrived, in January, 1802, at thisbeautiful capital, celebrated by the laboursof the illustrious Condamine, of Bouger, Godin, Don George Juan, and Ulloa, andstill more celebrated by the great amiabilityof its inhabitants, and their happy turn forthe arts. They remained nearly a year in the king-dom of Quito: the height of its snow-cap-ped mountains, its terrible earthquakes(that of February 7, 1797, swallowed up42,000 inhabitants, in a few seconds), itsfertility, and the manners of its inhabitants,combined to render it the most interestingspot in the universe. After three vain at-tempts, they twice succeeded in ascendingto the crater of the volcano of Pichincha,taking with them electrometers, barometers,and hydrometers. Condamine could onlystop here a few minutes, and that withoutinstruments. In his time, this immense cra-ter was cold and filled with snow. Ourtravellers found it inflamed; distressing in-formation for the town of Quito, which isdistant from it only 5000 to 6000 toises. They made separate visits to the snowyand porphyritic mountains of Antisana, Co-topaxi, Tungaraque, and Chimborazo, thelast the highest point of our globe. Theystudied the geological part of the Cordilleraof the Andes, on which subject nothing hasbeen published in Europe, mineralogy (ifthe expression may be used) having beencreated, as it were, since the time of Con-damine. The geodesical measurementsproved that some mountains, particularlythe volcano of Tungaraque, has considera-bly lowered since 1750, which result agreeswith the observations made to them by theinhabitants. During the whole of this part of the jour-ney, they were accompanied by Mr. CharlesMontutar, son of the marquis of Selva-ale-gre, of Quito, a person zealous for the pro-gress of science, and who is, at his own ex-pence, rebuilding the pyramids of Saraqui,the extremity of the celebrated bases of the triangles of the Spanish and French academi-cians. This interesting young man havingfollowed Mr. Humboldt in the remainder ofhis journey through Peru and the kingdomof New Spain, is now on his passage withhim to Europe. Circumstances were so favourable to theefforts of the three travellers, that at Anti-sana they ascended 2200 French feet, and atChimborazo, on June 22, 1802, nearly 3200feet higher than Condamine was able to car-ry his instruments. They ascended to 3036toises elevation above the level of the sea, theblood starting from their eyes, lips, andgums. An opening, of 80 toises deep, andvery wide, prevented them from reachingthe top, from which they were only distant134 toises. It was at Quito that Mr. Humboldt re-ceived a letter from the National Instituteof France, informing him that captain Bau-din had proceeded by the Cape of GoodHope, and that there was no longer anyhope of joining him. After having examined the country over-turned by the earthquake of Riobamba, in1797, they passed by the Andes of Assuay to Cuenza. The desire of comparing theCinchonas discovered by Mr. Mutis, at San-ta Fe de Bogota, and with those of Popayan,and the cuspa and cuspare of New Andalu-sia, and of the river Caroni (named falselyCortex Angustura), with the Cinchonas ofLoxa and Peru, they preferred deviatingfrom the beaten track from Cuenza to Li-ma; but they passed with immense dif-ficulties in the carriage of their instrumentsand collections, by the forest (paramo) ofSaragura to Loxa, and from thence to theprovince of Saen de Bracamoros. They hadto cross thirty-five times, two days, the riverGuancabamba, so dangerous for its suddenfreshes. They saw the ruins of the superbYnga road comparable to the finest roads inFrance, and which went upon the ridge ofthe Andes from Cusco to the Assuay, ac-commodated with fountains and taverns. They descended the river Chamaya, whichled them into that of the Amazones, and theynavigated this last river down to the cata-racts of Tomeperda, one of the most fertile,but one of the hottest, climates of the habit-able globe. From the Amazone river theyreturned to the south-east by the Cordilleraof the Andes to Montar, where they foundthey had passed the magnetic equator, theinclination being 0, although at seven de-grees of south latitude. They visited themines of Hualguayoc, where native silver isfound at the height of 2000 toises. Someof the veins of these mines contain petrifiedshells, and which, with those of Pasco andHuantajayo, are actually the richest of Pe-ru. From Caxamarca they descended toTruxillo, in the neighbourhood of which arefound the ruins of the immense Peruvian ci-ty, Mansiche. It was on this western descent of the An-des that the three voyagers, for the first time,had the pleasure of seeing the Pacific O-cean. They followed its barren sides, for-merly watered by the canals of the Yngasat Santa Guerma, and Lima. They re-mained some months in this interesting capi-tal of Peru, of which the inhabitants are dis-tinguished by the vivacity of their genius,and the liberality of their ideas. Mr. Humboldt had the good fortune toobserve the end of the passage of Mercuryover the sun’s disk, in the port of Callao.He was astonished to find, at such a dis-tance from Europe, the most recent produc-tions in chemistry, mathematics, and medi-cine; and he found great activity of mindin the inhabitants, who, in a climate whereit never either rains or thunders, have beenfalsely accused of indolence. From Lima our travellers passed by seato Guayaquil, situated on the brink of a ri-ver, where the growth of the palm tree isbeautiful beyond description. They everymoment heard the rumbling of the volcanoof Cotopaxi, which made an alarming ex-plosion on the 6th January, 1803. Theyimmediately set off to visit it a second time,when the unexpected intelligence of thespeedy departure of the frigate Atalanta de-termined them to return, after being sevendays exposed to the dreadful attacks of themusquitoes of Babaoya and Ujibar. They had a fortunate passage, by the Pa-cific Ocean, to Acapulco, the western portof the kingdom of New Spain, famous forthe beauty of its harbour, which appears tohave been formed by earthquakes, for themisery of its inhabitants, and for its climate,which is equally hot and unhealthy. Mr. Humboldt had originally the intenti-on to remain only a few months in Mexico,and to hasten his return to Europe; his voy-age had already been too much protracted,his instruments, particularly the chronome-ters, began to be out of order, and everyeffort that he made to have new ones sent tohim proved of no avail; add to this consi-deration, that the progress of science is sorapid in Europe, that, in a journey thatlasts four or five years, great risk is run ofcontemplating the different phenomena un-der aspects, which are no longer interestingat the moment of publishing the result ofyour labours. Mr. Humboldt hoped to bein France in August or September, 1803,but the attractions of a country, so beautifuland so varied, as is that of the kingdom ofNew Spain, the great hospitality of its in-habitants, and the fear of the yellow fever* so fatal, from June to November, for thosewho come from the mountainous part of thecountry, led him to stay a year in this king-dom. Our travellers ascended from Acapulco to Tasco, celebrated for its mines, as inter-esting as they are ancient. They rise, bysmall degrees, from the ardent valley ofMescala and Papagayo, where the thermo-meter of Reaumur stands, in the shade,constantly from 28 to 31 (95 to 101 Fah.),in a region 6 or 700 toises above the levelof the sea, where you find the oaks, thepines, and the fougere (fern) as large astrees, and where the European grains arecultivated. They passed by Tasco, byCuerna Vaca, to the capital of Mexico.—This city of 150,000 inhabitants, is placedupon the ancient site of Texochtitlan, be-tween the lakes of Tezcuco and Xochimil-co, lakes which have lessened somewhatsince the Spaniards have opened the canal ofHucheutoca, in sight of two snow-toppedmountains, of which one, Popocatepec, iseven now an active volcano, surrounded bya great number of walks, shaded with trees,and by Indian villages. This capital of Mexico, situated 1160 toises above the sea, in a mild and temperate climate,may doubtless be compared to some of thefinest towns in Europe. Great scientific es-tablishments, such as the Academy of Paint-ing, Sculpture, and Engraving, the Collegeof Mines, (owning to the liberality of theCompany of Miners of Mexico), and theBotanic Garden, are institutions which dohonour to the government which has creat-ed them. After remaining some months in the val-ley of Mexico, and after fixing the longitudeof the capital, which had been laid downwith an error of nearly two degrees, ourtravellers visited the mines of Moran andReal del Monte, and the Cerro of Oyamel,where the ancient Mexicans had the manu-factory of knives made of the obsidian stone.They soon after passed by Queretaro andSalamanca to Guanaxoato, a town of fiftythousand inhabitants, and celebrated for itsmines, more rich than those of Potosi haveever been. The mine of the count of Va-lenciana, which is 1840 French feet perpen-dicular depth, is the deepest and richest mineof the universe. This mine alone gives toits proprietor nearly six hundred thousanddollars annual and constant profit. From Guanaxoato they returned by thevalley of St. Jago to Valladolid, in the an-cient kingdom of Michuacan, one of the mostfertile and charming provinces of the king-dom. They descended from Pascuaro to-wards the coast of the Pacific Ocean to theplains of Serullo, where, in 1759, in onenight, a volcano arose from the level, sur-rounded by two thousand small mouths,from whence smoke still continues to issue.They arrived almost to the bottom of thecrater of the great volcano of Serullo, ofwhich they analized the air, and found itstrongly impregnated with carbonic acid.—They returned to Mexico by the valley ofToluca, and visited the volcano, to the high-est point of which they ascended, 14,400French feet above the level of the sea. In the months of January and February,1804, they pursued their researches on theeastern descent of the Cordilleras, they mea-sured the mountains Novados de la Puebla,Popocatyce, Izazihuatle, the great peak ofOrizaba, and the Cofre de Perote; upon thetop of this last Mr. Humboldt observed themeredian height of the sun. In fine, aftersome residence at Xalappa, they embarkedat Vera Crux, for the Havannah. They re-sumed the collections they had left there in1801, and by the way of Philadelphia, em-barked for France, in July, 1804, after sixyears of absence and labours. A collectionof 6000 different species of plants (of whicha great part are new) and numerous miner-alogical, astronomical, chemical, and moralobservations, have been the result of this ex-pedition. Mr. Humboldt gives the highestpraises to the liberal protection granted to hisresearches by the Spanish government. Baron Humboldt was born in Prussia, onthe 14th of September, 1769.

* Vomito prieto.