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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 Washington, District of Columbia
in: The Universal Gazette 2:346 (20. September 1804), S. [2–3].
Sprache Englisch
Typografischer Befund Antiqua (mit lang-s); Spaltensatz; Auszeichnung: Kursivierung; Fußnoten mit Asterisken.
Textnummer Druckausgabe: II.23
Dateiname: 1804-Baron_Humboldt-11-neu
Seitenanzahl: 2
Spaltenanzahl: 6
Zeichenanzahl: 23612

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)
Baron Humboldt (New York City, New York, 1804, Englisch)
Baron Humboldt (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1804, Englisch)
Baron Humboldt (New York City, New York, 1804, Englisch)
Baron Humboldt (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1804, Englisch)
Baron Humboldt (Charleston, South Carolina, 1804, Englisch)
Baron Humboldt (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 1804, Englisch)
Baron Humboldt (Washington, District of Columbia, 1804, Englisch)
Travels of Baron Humboldt (Kingston, New York, 1804, Englisch)
Baron Humboldt (Washington, District of Columbia, 1804, Englisch)
Baron Humboldt (Amherst, New Hampshire, 1804, Englisch)
Baron Humboldt (Richmond, Virginia, 1804, Englisch)
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)
|2| |Spaltenumbruch|


From the “Literary Magazine, andAmerican Register.”

The following abstract of the Ame-rican Travels of the celebrated Baron Humboldt and his companion Bonpland,has been drawn up from notes whichthe former has kindly furnished, and willsupercede the many very incorrect ac-counts hitherto published relative to thisinteresting object.
Baron Humboldt, having travelledfrom the year 1790, as a naturalist,through Germany, Poland, France, Swit-zerland, and through parts of England,Italy, Hungary, and Spain, came to Pa-ris in 1798, when he received an invi-tation, from the directors of the nationalmuseum, to accompany captain Baudin in his voyage round the world.—Citizen Alexander Aime Gourjon Bonpland, anative of Rochelle, and brought up inthe Paris museum, was also to have ac-companied them; when on the point ofdeparting, the whole plan was suspendeduntil a more favorable opportunity, ow-ing to the recommencement of the warwith Austria, and to the consequent wantof funds. Mr. Humboldt, who, from 1792 hadconceived the plan of travelling throughIndia at his own expence, with a viewof adding to the knowledge of thesciences connected with natural history,then resolved to follow the learned men,who had gone on the expedition to Egypt.—His plan was to go to Algiers in the Swedish frigate which carried theConsul Skoldebrandt, to follow the ca-ravan which goes from Algiers to Mec-ca, going through Egypt to Arabia,and thence by the Persian gulph to theEnglish East-India establishments. Thewar which unexpectedly broke out inOctober 1798, between France and theBarbary powers, and the troubles in theEast, prevented Mr. Humboldt fromembarking at Marseilles, where he hadbeen fruitlessly two months waiting toproceed. Impatient at this delay, and |3| |Spaltenumbruch|continuing firm in his determination togo to Egypt, he went to Spain, hopingto pass more readily under the Spanishflag from Carthagena to Algiers andTunis. He took with him the largecollection of philosophical, chemical, andastronomical instruments, which he hadpurchased in England and France. From a happy concurrence of circum-stances, he obtained, in February, 1799,from the court of Madrid, a permissionto visit the Spanish colonies of the twoAmericas, a permission which wasgranted with a liberality and frankness,which was honourable to the governmentand to a philosophic age. After a re-sidence of some months at the Spanishcourt, during which time the king show-ed a strong personal interest in the plan,Mr. Humboldt, in June, 1799, left Eu-rope, accompanied by Mr. Bonpland,who, to a profound knowledge in botanyand zoology, added an indefatigablezeal. It is with this friend thatMr. Humboldt has accomplished, athis own expence, his travels in thetwo hemispheres, by land and sea, pro-bably the most extensive which any in-dividual has ever undertaken. These two travellers left Corunna inthe Spanish ship Pizarro, for the Canaryislands, where they ascended to the cra-ter of the Peak of Teyde, and made ex-periments on the analysis of the air. InJuly they arrived at the port of Cama-na, in South America. In 1799, 1800they visited the coast of Paria, the mis-sions of the Chaymas Indians, the pro-vince of New Andalusia (a countrywhich had been rent by the most dreadfulearthquakes, the hottest, and yet themost healthy, in the world) of NewBarcelona, of Venezuela, and of Spa-nish Guayana.—In January, 1800, theyleft Caraccas to visit the beautiful valliesof Aragua, where the great lake ofValencia recals to the mind the viewsof the lake of Geneva, embellished bythe majesty of the vegetation of the tro-pics. From Porto Cabello they crossedto the south, the immense plains of Ca-loboza, of Apure, and of the Oronoco,also los Llanos, a desert similar to thoseof Africa, where in the shade (by thereverberation of heat) the thermometerof Reaumur rose to 35 and 37 (111 to115 F.) degrees. The level of the coun-try for 2000 square leagues does notdiffer 5 inches. The sand every whererepresents the horizon of the sea, with-out vegetation; and its dry bosom hidesthe crocodiles, and the torpid boa (aspecies of serpent). The travellinghere, as in all Spanish America, exceptMexico, is performed on horseback.—They passed whole days without seeinga palm-tree or the vestige of a humandwelling. At St. Fernando de Epure,in the provinces of Varinas, Messrs. Humboldt and Bonpland began that fa-tiguing navigation of nearly 1000 ma-rine leagues, executed in canoes, makinga chart of the country by the assistanceof chronometers, the satellites of Jupi-ter, and the lunar distances. They de-scended the river Apure, which emptiesitself into the Oronoco, in 7 degrees oflatitude. They ascended the last river(passing the celebrated cataracts of May-pure and Atures) to the mouth of theGuaviare. From thence they ascendedthe small rivers of Tabapa, Juamini,and Tenie. From the mission of Saritathey crossed by land to the sources ofthe famous Rio Negro, which Conda-mine saw, where it joins the Amazon,and which he calls a sea of fresh water.About 30 Indians carried the canoesthrough woods of Mami Lecythis, andLaurus Cinamomoides to the cano (orcreek) Pemichin. It was by this smallstream that the travellers entered theRio Negro, or Black River, which theydescended to St. Carlos, which has beenerroneously supposed to be placed underthe equator, or just at the frontiers ofGreat Para, in the government of Bra-sil. A canal from Tenie to Pemichin,which from the level nature of theground is very practicable, would pre-sent a fine internal communication be-tween the Para and the province ofCarracas, a communication infinitelyshorter than that of Cassiquiare.—Fromthe fortress of St. Carlos on the RioNegro, Mr. H. went north up that ri-ver and the Cassiquiare to the Oronoco,and on this river to the volcano Daida,or the mission of the Esmeralda, nearthe sources of the Oronoco: the Indi-ans Guaicas (a race of men almost pig-mies, very white and very warlike)render fruitless any attempts to reach thesources themselves. From the Esmeralda Messrs. H. andB. went down the Oronoco, when thewaters rose, towards its mouths at St.Thomas de la Guayana, or the Angos-tura. It was during this long naviga-tion that they were in a continued stateof suffering, from want of nourishmentand shelter, from the night rains, fromliving in the woods, from the mosque-toes, and an infinite variety of stinginginsects, and from the impossibility ofbathing, owing to the fierceness of thecrocodile and the little carib fish, andfinally the miasmata of a burning cli-mate. They returned to Cumana bythe plains of Cari and the mission of theCarib Indians, a race of men very diffe-rent from any other, and probably, afterthe Patagonians, the tallest and most ro-bust in the world. After remaining some months at NewBarcelona and Cumana, the travellersarrived at the Havanna, after a tediousand dangerous navigation, the vessel be-ing in the night on the point of strikingupon the Vibora rocks. Mr. H. re-mained three months in the island of |Spaltenumbruch|Cuba, where he occupied himself in as-certaining the longitude of the Havan-na, and in constructing stoves on the su-gar plantations, which have since beenpretty generally adopted. They wereon the point of setting off for VeraCruz, meaning, by the way of Mexicoand Acapulco, to go to the PhilipineIslands, and from thence, if it was pos-sible, by Bombay and Aleppo, to Con-stantinople, when some false reports re-lative to Baudin’s voyage alarmed them,and made them change their plan. Thegazettes held out the idea that this na-vigator would proceed from France toBuenos Ayres, and from thence, by CapeHorn, for Chili and the coast of Peru.Mr. Humboldt had promised to Mr. Baudin and to the Museum of Paris,that whereever he might be, he wouldendeavour to join the expedition, as soonas he should know of its having beencommenced. He flattered himself thathis researches, and those of his friend Bonpland, might be more useful to sci-ence, if united to the labours of the learn-ed men who would accompany captain Baudin. These considerations induced Mr. Humboldt to send his manuscripts, for1799 and 1800, direct to Europe, andto freight a small schooner at Batabano,intending to go to Carthagena, and fromthence, as quickly as possible, by theIsthmus of Panama, to the South Sea.He hoped to find captain Baudin atGuayaquil, or at Lima, and with himto visit New Holland, and the islands ofthe Pacific Ocean, equally interesting ina moral point of view, as by the luxu-riance of their vegetation. It appeared imprudent to expose themanuscripts and collections already madeto the risks of this proposed navigation.These manu-scripts, of the fate of whichMr. H. remained ignorant during threeyears, and until his arrival in Philadel-phia, arrived safe, but one third part ofthe collection was lost by shipwreck.— Fortunately (except the insects of theOronoco and of the Rio Negro) theywere only duplicates; but unhappilyfriar John Gonzales, monk of the or-der 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 worldof Spanish Guayana further than any o-ther European. Mr. Humboldt left Batabano inMarch, 1801, and passed to the southof the island of Cuba, on which he de-termined many geographical positions.The passage was rendered very long bycalms, and the currents carried the lit-tle schooner too much to the west, tothe mouths of the Attracto. Thevessel put into the river Sinu, which nobotanist had ever before visited, andthey had a very difficult passage up toCarthagena. The season being too faradvanced for the South Sea navigation,the project of crossing the isthmus wasabandoned; and animated with the de-sire of being acquainted with the cele-brated Mutis, and admiring his im-mensely rich collections of objects ofnatural history, Mr. H. determined topass some weeks in the woods of Turba-co, and to ascend (which took 40 days)the beautiful river of Madalaine, of thecourse of which he sketched a chart. From Honda, our travellers ascendedthrough forests of oaks, of melastoma and of cinchona (the tree which affordsthe Peruvian bark), to St. Fe de Bogo-ta, capital of the kingdom of NewGrenada, situated in a fine plain, eleva-ted 1360 toises (of six French feet) a-bove the level of the sea. The superbcollections of Mutis, the majestic cata-ract of the Tequendama (falls of 98 toi-ses height) the mines of Mariquita, St.Ana, and of Tequedama, the naturalbridge of Scononza (three stones throwntogether in the anner of an arch, byan earthquake), these curious objectsstopped the progress of Messrs. Hum-boldt and Bonpland until the month ofSeptember, 1801. At this time, notwithstanding therainy season had commenced, they un-dertook the journey to Quito, and pas-sed the Andes of Quindiu, which aresnowy mountains covered with waxpalm trees, palmiers a cire, withpasse flores, passion flowers, of thegrowth of trees, storax, and bam-busa, bamboo. They were during 13days, obliged to pass on foot throughplaces dreadfully swam-py, and withoutany traces of population. From the village of Carthago, in thevalley of Cauca, they followed thecourse of the Choco, the country ofPalatina, which was there found inround pieces of basalte and green rock,(greinstein of Werner), and fossil wood.They pass by Buga to Popayan, a bish-op’s see, and situated near the volcanoesof Sotara and Purace, a most pictures-que situation, and enjoying the mostdelicious climate in the world, the ther-mometer of Reamur keeping constantlyfrom 16 to 18 (68 to 72 Fahr.) Theyascended to the crater of the volcano ofPurace, whose mouth, in the middle ofsnow, throws out vapours of sulphure-ous hydrogene, with continued andfrightful rumbling. From Popayan they passed by the dan-gerous defiles of Almager, avoiding theinfected and contagious valley of Patia,to Posto, and from this town, even nowsituated at the foot of a burning volca-noe, by Tuqueras and the province ofPastos, a flat portion of country, fer-tile in European grain, but elevatedmore than 1500 to 1600 toises abovethe towns of Ibarra and Quito. They arrived, in January, 1802, at |Spaltenumbruch|this beautiful capital, celebrated by thelabours of the illustrious Condamine, of Bouger, Godin, Dr. George Juan, and Ul-loa, and still more celebrated by thegreat amiability of its inhabitants, andtheir happy turn for the arts. They remained nearly a year in thekingdom of Quito: the height of itssnow-capped mountains, its terribleearthquakes, that of February 7, 1797,swallowed up 42,000 inhabitants, in afew seconds, its fertility, and the man-ners of its inhabitants, combined to rend-er it the most interesting spot in theuniverse. After three vain attempts,they twice succeeded in ascending to thecrater of the volcano of Pichincha, tak-ing with them electrometers, barome-ters, and hygrometers. Condamine could only stop here a few minutes, andthat without instruments. In his time,this immense crater was cold and filledwith snow. Our travellers found it in-flamed; distressing information for thetown of Quito, which is distant from itonly 5000 to 6000 toises. They made separate visits to the snowyand porphyritic mountains of Antisana,Cotopaxi, Tungarague and Chimborazo,the last the highest point of our globe.They studied the geological part of theCordillera of the Andes, on which sub-ject nothing has been published in Eu-rope, mineralogy, if the expressionmay be used, having been created sincethe time of Condamine. The geodesi-cal measurements proved that somemountains, particularly the volcano ofTungarague, has considerably loweredsince 1750, which result agrees with theobservations made to them by the inha-bitants. During the whole of this part of thejourney, they were accompanied by Mr. Charles Montufar, son of the marquisof Selva-alegre, of Quito, a personzealous for the progress of science, andwho is, at his own expence, rebuildingthe pyramids of Saraqui, the extremityof the celebrated bases of the triangles of the Spanish and French academicians.This interesting young man having fol-lowed Mr. Humboldt in the remainderof his journey through Peru and thekingdom of New Spain, is now on hispassage with him to Europe. Circumstances were so favourable tothe efforts of the three travellers, thatat Antisana they ascended 2200 Frenchfeet, and at Chimborazo, on June 22,1802, nearly 3200 feet higher than Condamine was able to carry his instru-ments. They ascended to 3036 toiseselevation above the level of the sea, theblood starting from their eyes, lips andgums. An opening, of 80 toises deep,and very wide, prevented them fromreaching the top, from which they wereonly distant 134 toises. It was at Quito that Mr. Humboldt received a letter from the National In-stitute of France, informing him, thatcaptain Baudin had proceeded by theCape of Good Hope, and that there wasno longer any hope of joining him. After having examined the countryoverturned by the earthquake of Rio-bamba, in 1797, they passed by the An-des of Assuay to Cuenza. The desireof comparing the Chinchona discoveredby Mr. Mutis, at Santa Fe de Bagota,and with those of Popayan, and thecuspa and cuspare of New Andalusia,of the river Caroni, named falsely cor-tex Angustura, with the Chinchona ofLoxa and Peru, they preferred deviat-ing from the beaten track from Cuenzato Lima; but they passed with immensedifficulties in the carriage of their in-struments and collections, by the forest(paramo) of Saragura to Loxa,and from thence to the province of Jaen deBracamoros. They had to cross thirty-five times, two days, the river Guanca-bamba, so dangerous for its suddenfreshes. They saw the ruins of the su-perb Ynga road comparable to the finestroads in France, and which went uponthe ridge of the Andes from Cusco tothe Assuay, accommodated with fountainsand taverns. They descended the river Chamaya,which led them into that of the Amazones, and they navigated this lastriver down to the cataracts of Tome-perda, one of the most fertile, but oneof the hottest, climates of the habitableglobe. From the Amazone river theyreturned to the south-east by the Cordil-lera of the Andes to Montar, wherethey found they had passed the magne-tic equator, the inclination being 0, al-though at seven degrees of south lati-tude. They visited the mines of Hual-guayoc, where native silver is found atthe height of 2000 toises. Some of theveins of these mines contain petrifiedshells, and which, with those of Pascoand Huantajayo, are actually the rich-est of Peru. From Caxamarca theydescended to Truxillo, in the neighbour-hood of which are found the ruins ofthe immense Peruvian city, Mansiche. It was on this western descent of the Andes that the three voyagers, for thefirst time, had the pleasure of seeing thePacific Ocean. They followed its bar-ren sides, formerly watered by the ca-nals of the Yngas at Santa Guerma, andLima. They remained some months inthis interesting capital of Peru, of whichthe inhabitants are distinguished by thevivacity of their genius, and the liberal-ity of their ideas. Mr. Humboldt had the good fortuneto observe the end of the passages ofMercury over the sun’s disk, in the portof Callao. He was astonished to find,at such a distance from Europe, the mostrecent productions in chemistry, mathe-matics, and medicine; and he foundgreat activity of mind in the inhabitants, |Spaltenumbruch|who, in a climate where it never eitherrains or thunders, have been falsely ac-cused of indolence. From Lima our travellers passed bysea to Guayaquil, situated on the brinkof a river, where the growth of the palmtree is beautiful beyond description. Theyevery moment heard the rumbling ofthe volcano of Cotopaxi, which madean alarming explosion on the6th of January, 1803. They im-mediately set off to visit it a secondtime, when the unexpected intelligenceof the speedy departure of the frigateAtalanta determined them to return, af-ter being seven days exposed to thedreadful attacks of the mosquitoes of Babaoya and Ujibar. They had a fortunate passage, by thePacific Ocean, to Acapulco, the westernport of the kingdom of New Spain, fa-mous for the beauty of its harbour,which appears to have been formed byearthquakes, for the misery of its inha-bitants, and for its climate, which isequally hot and unhealthy. Mr. Humboldt had originally the in-tention to remain only a few months inMexico, and to hasten his return to Eu-rope; his voyage had already been toomuch protracted, his instruments, par-ticularly the chronometers, began to beout of order, and every effort that hemade to have new ones sent to him prov-ed of no avail; add to this considera-tion, that the progress of science is sorapid in Europe, that, in a journey thatlasts four or five years, great risk is runof contemplating the different pheno-mena under aspects, which are no longerinteresting at the moment of publishingthe result of your labours. Mr. Hum-boldt hoped to be in France in Augustor September, 1803, but the attractionsof a country, so beautiful and so varied,as is that of the kingdom of New Spain,the great hospitality of its inhabitants,and the fear of the yellow fever * so fa-tal, from June to November, for thosewho come from the mountainous parts ofthe country, led him to stay a year in thiskingdom. Our travellers ascended from Acapul-co to Tasco, celebrated for its mines,as interesting as they are ancient. Theyrise, by small degrees, from the ardentvalley of Mescala and Papagayo, wherethe thermometer of Reaumur stands, inthe shade, constantly from 28 to 31 (95to 101 Fah.), in a region 6 or 700 toisesabove the level of the sea, where you findthe oaks, the pines, and the fougere(fern) as large as trees, and where theEuropean grains are cultivated. Theypassed by Tasco, by Cuerna Vacca, to thecapital of Mexico.—This city of150,000 inhabitants, is placed upon theancient site of Texochtitlan, betweenthe lakes of Tezcuco and Xochimilco,lakes which have lessened somewhatsince the Spaniards have opened thecanal of Hacheutoca, in sight of twosnow-topped mountains, of which one,Hopocatepec, is even now an activevolcano, surrounded by a great numberof walks, shaded with trees, and by In-dian villages. This capital of Mexico, situated1160 toises above the sea, in a mildand temperate climate, may doubtless becompared to some of the finest towns inEurope. Great scientific establishments,such the Academy of Painting, Sculp-ture, and Engraving, the College ofMines,(owing to the liberality of theCompany of Miners of Mexico), and theBotanic Garden, are institutions whichdo honour to the government which hascreated them. After remaining some months in thevalley of Mexico, and after fixing thelongitude of the capital, which had beenlaid down with an error of nearly twodegrees, our travellers visited the minesof Moran and Real del Monte, and theCerro of Oyamel, where the ancientMexicans had the manufactory of knivesmade of the obsidian stone. They soonafter passed by Queretaro and Salaman-ca to Guanaxoato, a town of fifty thou-sand inhabitants, and celebrated for itsmines, more rich than those of Potosihave ever been. The mine of the countof Valenciana, which is 1840 Frenchfeet perpendicular depth, is the deepestand richest mine of the universe. Thismine alone gives to its proprietor near-ly six hundred thousand dollars annualand constant profit. From Guanaxoato they returned bythe valley of St. Jago to Valladolid, inthe ancient kingdom of Michuacan, oneof the most fertile and charming provin-ces of the kingdom. They descendedfrom Pascuaro towards the coast of thePacific Ocean to the plains of Serullo,where, in 1759, in one night, a volcanoarose from the level, surrounded by twothousand small mouths, from whencesmoke still continues to issue. Theyarrived almost to the bottom of the cra-ter of the great volcano of Serullo, ofwhich they analized the air, and foundit strongly impregnated with carbonicacid.—They returned to Mexico bythe valley of Teluca, and visited the volcano,to the highest point of which they as-cended, 14,400 French feet above thelevel of the sea. In the months of January and Febru-ary, 1804, they pursued their researches,on the eastern descent of the Cordillerasthey measured the mountains Meradosde la Puebla, Popocatyce, Izazihuatli, thegreat peak of Orizaba, and the Cofrede Perote; upon the top of this lastMr. Humboldt observed the meridianheight of the sun. In fine, after someresidence at Xalappa, they embarkedat Vera Cruz, for the Havannah. Theyresumed the collections they hadleft there in 1801, and by the way |Spaltenumbruch|of Philadelphia, embarked for France, inJuly, 1804, after six years of absence andlabours. A collection of 6000 differ-ent species of plants (of which a greatpart are new) and numerous mineralo-gical, astronomical, chemical, and mo-ral observations, have been the result ofthis expedition. Mr. Humboldt givesthe highest praises to the liberal protectiongranted to his researches by the Spa-nish government. Baron Humboldt was born in Prussia,on the 14th of September, 1769.

* Vomito prieto.