Maximilian zu Wied-Neuwied

Birth: 1782


Neuwied: Max Prince of Wied-N. was a Germant traveler, naturalist and ethnographer, born on 23 September 1782 to Neuwied as the eighth child of with ten children blessed marriage of Prince Friedrich Karl. Prince Max showed a pronounced preference for natural history, the influence of his educator Hofmann, above all but later his university teacher Blumenbach, vigorously nurtured as a boy. Some parts of his rich collections trace back to the boyhood. Blumenbach recalled the Prince throughout his life with warm gratitude and drew particularly the taste for the study of humanity, which was the first subject of his research trips from his lessons. in 1802 he entered the Prussian army, battle of Jena the [560] and was made on 28 Oct. starting in 1806 at Prenzlau. Returned from captivity, he devoted himself in the seclusion of Neuwieds continued the study of the geography, natural history and Ethnology, always the Brazilian journey into the eye, which had been planned for years.

The storm year 1813 interrupted these preparations, the Prince appeared again in the Prussian army, fought as a major in the Brandenburg Hussar Regiment in Châlons, Chateau Thierry, where he received the Iron Cross, La Fère, finally at St. Martin and moved with the monarch in Paris a. Hardly the Paris peace was closed, as it drove the Prince to complete his preparations for his trip and he left, accompanied 1815 Simonis, of the Hunter three coupling and the gardener early in the j. the home, to go to Brazil to London. On 16 July he arrived after 72tägiger trip there and was by coming to meet the Minister Conde collected for the scientific exploration of Brazil's Barca there on August 4 capable, the way across the Bay of Rio after C. Frio and continue on the East coast up to compete. Two German researchers, Frey Reiß and Sellow, who had traveled in Brazil, the latter a kenntnißreicher botanist, had the Prince joined, which gemiethet had 10 drivers and carriers with 16 Maulthieren. Without special unsifted went the way after C. Frio, then North to the Paraíba and through this power away into the jungles, where dwelt the Puris, Coroados and Coropos tribes.

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A young man of the latter tribe turned out to be usable as a Hunter and interpreting. In the Villa of San Salvador, the traveller received the first news of the battle of Belle Alliance. The Paraiba was then traced to the mouth and it penetrated in the Botocudenland at the Rio Doce. In January 1816, the rivers were achieved St. Mateo and Mucuri, in June of Caravelas, then after most collections were sent to Rio, the journey was continued to the Patachos and Machacaris. 3½ months towards the end of this year were recently dedicated to the study of the Botokuden of the Rio Grande de Belmonte. The beginning of the year 1817 saw the Prince on the borders of Minas Geraes in the Camacons and in April in Bahia, from where he returned via Lisbon and London to the home, which received him at the beginning of August 1817. He had brought home safely with its Niederbieber companion, also a Negro and a Botokuden. Immediately made himself the Prince of the order of the immensely rich collections, which was capable of much new from the higher Thierwelt Brazil and the strange, if wrapped well poor Culturbesitz of the local peoples and he, still in the year of his return in ISIS (Nr. 190 and 191) a report on the just-completed trip to publish the Oken added the appreciative words that "something only in the plant to set was by the firm will of the Prince, by his insight into the natural history, Werth by the great sacrifices, he has not spared accordingly".

"Without long rest, under the fresh impressions of the trip were the part of the Prince himself, others by his companion Sellow finished made designed sketches using his art experienced siblings Charles and Louise for the engraving and the diaries of the great" Travel to Brazil in the years 1815 to 1817 "cast, which in 1820 and 1821 in two volumes appeared. In this depiction of the journey, the Prince as a simple, bland Narrator confronts us. But if he avoids the speech pomp usual at that time at the Classikern of the itinerary, his story is a thorough researcher more so through the wealth of Thatsachen tell he by the quiet clear judgment and feeling wohlthuende, to face this especially [561] all natural history and ethnographic discussions surrounds us.

As the attacks a French critic, A. causes de St. Hilaire, had a bad French edition of this "journey" before him, the Prince in 1850 edited "Brazil, supplements, corrections, additions", it became evident that, as little real errors careful adjustment on the basis of the recent literature revealed, but also, the Prince able to admit mistake and even highlight, where he had made which was how open. The monographic treatises, which are inserted in the second gang ("Some words about the Botokuden", "Samples of Brazilian native languages" and "on the type in Brazil natural history travel to undertake") show us the gift of a subject in depth and at the same time comprehensively, in the highest scientific sense of the word monograph, to handle, which then in the text to the "pictures to the natural history of Brazil" (1823-1831, 15 folders) and "Contributions to the natural history of Brazil" (4 vols., 1824-1833) on proven greater field.

If here in the introduction to the gang of Säugethiere the Prince his work work about the legged by Paraguay called it an addendum to Azara, this shows how modest he thought of his contributions, but in reality, the thing is, that both works,. complementing each other, form the pillars of today's knowledge of the higher Thierwelt of South America between 23 and 15 ° South latitude and that the Prince sees work through the essential restrictions are imposed on the travelling observer, often fragmentarischer, nowhere but less accurate, and in many places of an urgent, plenty are than those of his predecessor, large, vividly recognized by him at every opportunity, in the exploration of South America, A. v. Humboldt's. The discharges in the volumes of Säugethiere, birds, and reptiles (with amphibians) are thoughtful and litteraturkundige surveys, one still reads at a profit. All together the Prince Brazilian studies are the most important, what had been done between Marc Graf and Martius on Brazil.

The manuscript "Contributions" was just completed, the Prince began a new journey. On May 17, 1832, he embarked with the illustrator of Bodmer and the Hunter three double to Helvoetfluys to North America and ended up on the 4th of July in Boston. Via New York and Philadelphia, he traveled to the offices of the Moravian brothers in the Pennsylvanian Alleghanies and spent the autumn with hunting and botanizing mainly in the area of Bethlehem. About Pittsburg, he then went to new harmony on the Wabashflusse (Indiana), where he took up winter quarters until mid March 1833. This Rapp'sche establishment embraced at the time few of outstanding naturalist in America, like LeSueur, say, the sons of Owens, to the Maclure'sche library of Meanwhile works, which in the United States in those days her peers counted. Here, the Prince laid the foundations for the excellent knowledge of the North American fauna, as well as the Ethnography of the Indians of North America, which emerges in his itinerary, and even more so in later monographic works. Also, he made detailed studies of the flora as on the previous trip, where this branch of Sellow was left. Mid-March was the journey of St. Louis and from there on the Mississippi and Missouri to Fort Leavenworth (22 April), Fort Pierre (May 30), Fort Clarke (June 16), Fort Union (June 24) and Fort Mackenzie (19 August) continued, where he almost at the Schwarzfußindianern a month lingered. This trip was made on a steamer of the American fur company, which had the task, except for the barter trade with the Indians also the traffic with the forts and the [562] connected by treaties with the United States Indians and their government agents to convey. The Prince won this opportunity with almost all the tribes which lived at that time in the Missouri and Yellowstone, to maintain a near traffic, from which his detailed ethnographic descriptions and the wonderful drawings of his companion Bodmer witnesses drop. On August 28, he had even the rare spectacle of an attack by about 600 Assiniboins and Krihs, which was cut off with the aid of a squad of the black feet in the Fort Mackenzie. Unfortunately, this was only the beginning of another armed Verwickelungen, which crossed through the favorite plan of the Prince to use the winter to a course through the Rocky Mountains. He had to join the return journey on an inadequate, built in a hurry boats to Fort Clarke, where he pitched his winter quarters now from 8 November 1833 until 14 April 1834. Here especially the previously often interrupted studies about the tribes of Mandanen, Mönnitaries and Arrikaris were recorded again, which results in the Capiteln XXV-XXVII of the 2nd volume and in the same attached collection of language samples, in the treatise about the sign language of the Indians are inter alia laid down, which today are part of the werthvolleren sources for the Ethnography of the North American Indians. After scorbutartiger illness affecting him on the losing of this privation winter stay, return travel on the Missouri and Ohio over St. Louis (27 May) and Cincinnati (16 June) kicked in the spring. On the Ohio Canal, the Erie was reached, then visited the Niagara falls. In New York, the Prince arrived on July 16, visited Philadelphia, where especially some scientifically this men, like Lea, Harlan, Duponceau and museums attracted him, once again, and embarked on July 16 in New York to Havre, which he reached on August 8. Only the fact that a ship of the American fur company, which the Prince had entrusted to the largest part of its scientific resources matched to the far West, burned on the Missouri, cast a shadow over this successful trip so that many of the most important results of this trip did not come to Europe. This loss was so unfortunate, as the Prince turned a large part of its activity the exhibition and the completion of the collections after his return, which had expanded on his travels he made and very extensively by Exchange and purchase.

From 1838-1841 the "journey through North America" in two editions appeared whose finer, a magnificent work, as it was kicked until then in Germany hardly ever to light. Representing here more rarely takes the warm character, which reflects in the Brazilian travel lucky the first major research trip. The tone rather tends to be dry, is often scientifically businesslike and numerous purely scientific discussions connected with any sections. The Prince also locked himself, however, here not the broad outlines of pre-Columbian nature and of North American life and that he formative out had a rain sense also for other natural phenomena than those in Thierarten, prove powerful in addition to some in a few Words drawn mood images including the stimulating meeting, which he later in the North American autumn (in Wiegmann's archive) thrive on left. But it's obvious that collecting and observing on the certain favorite areas of this time were main task and so because the results of this trip are apparently again the Zoological been most eingehendsten researched and most most loving. It Säugethiere, birds, reptiles and amphibians were also fish that most concerned him, in later years. In the Neuwied collections established by him, he has set up 500 fish, 400 species of Säugethieren, 1600 birds and 400 [563] reptiles and amphibians. His purely scientific work almost all this field belong to which he assiduously collecting and tracking the latest literature, worked up to the end of his life. Except particularly numerous smaller MSO, containing mostly descriptions of more recent species in Oken are the previously mentioned "contributions" of his Zoological works's ISIS, which employees he was from 1817-1842, then more monographic works, often with Drawings by the master hand of Bodmer's in the ornithological and general science magazines published by Cabanis and Wiegmann, finally major work in the ACTA of the Leopoldinisch Carolingian Academy to call. Detailed records of the Säugethiere observed on the North American travel and reptiles have appeared as separate works of these. The latter, as a Separatabdruck of the "Acta" published in 1865, represents at all the last major work of the Prince. The salient in the same emphasis on the biological element, as well as highlighting the finer Eigenthümlichkeiten, colouring, etc. living animals compared to the Museum zoology disputed throughout his life by the Princes and their Speciesmacherei twice, I regret that a so experienced, thorough and clear-minded researchers could throw his word where to this time no longer dare even entbrennenden dispute of kind of in the. From the silence of life of researchers, whose favorite relaxing was the hunting, the Prince rarely emerged in these outwardly monotonously flowing years. Small travel, mostly Badereisen, were minor interruptions. When in the year 1863 the natural history society of Rheinland and Westfalen held its General Assembly in Neuwied, is designed to a heartfelt homage to the Prince, the Spry, almost still youthful lively old man took the floor and spoke about "the American Urnationen"in a manner which showed how he said his revered teacher Blumenbach beherzigend that there could be no anziehenderes study than that of the indigenous people for the thinking man, followed the progress of the Ethnography was. By decomposition of the American race front made it especially against d'Orbigny, maintained he, as well as in many of his Zoological works, the impartial observation übervortheilen your right, not from the attempts of the hypothetical construction. The researchers decided his soreness life in the Crown on February 3, 1867 to Neuwied.

Prince N. occupies one of the first places among the German scientific travellers of his time. A few have taken their travel with the same excellent preparation and with such mature judgment. In many places, the Prince is evidence of the excellent preparation, with which he had made the trip. The literature was familiar to him. None of his successors has considered same, same depth by Hans Staden and Marc Graf Langsdorff and Mawe. The comparative observations, particularly about ethnographic phenomena, however prove that far remote areas have been taken into account. The Prince was already this able the Thatsachen himself presented his observation, harder to meet than almost any predecessors. We mention here only the far vorauseilenden requires the terms of his contemporaries views on the religion of the Brazilian monogene (trip to Brazil I, p. 147). the numerous corrections of inaccurate news of as outstanding naturalist as A. v. Humboldt and Spix, and at all Meanwhile Fables, which the Prince has; published an own small work even today still so rare-to-find in-depth and critical examination of names which include the only the [564] for beasts and plants, as well as geographic placenames, for whose knowledge especially in the Missouri area he numerous Posts higher Werth as the details of all predecessor has delivered. The above mentioned amendments to his own works give an high idea by his thoroughness as the over 1000 numbers directory of typographical errors in the French edition of the North American travel organised without his help. that he no more critical remarks, as close same were, s. l. et a. seem. In the areas of zoology and ethnography, where he devoted himself mainly to his powers, his careful aim was create the best pictures to, not only on the outside. With energy he has pointed out in his last publication the Werth of good illustrations complement the faded alcohol and dried specimens of the museums. Also helped the German Reiselitteratur in the eyes of as well as distinguish its magnificently equipped works, finally at the same time, the audience of a Prince to the humblest scientific cooperation a long missing concept of the ubiquity gained scientific interests in our country.

Dr. Ph. Wirtgen, in memory of Prince Maximilian of Wied, his life and scientific activity. 1867.


Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie Volume 23 (1886), pp. 559-564

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