Department of Germanic Languages & Literatures


Humboldt’s Travels in the Americas (1799–1804)

Humboldt’s Travels in the Americas (1799–1804)

1. . . . Over the past five years we traveled across New Andalusia, the Carib and Chaimas Indian territories, the provinces of Barcelona, Caracas, Varinas, and all of Guy[a]na. We covered almost 1000 nautical miles on the Orinoco by canoe, navigated the Guaviare and the Rio Negro, crossed for three days the imposing rapids of Maypure and Atures and determined by our chronometers and the sata[l]ites of Jupiter the exact position of the Cassiquiare, a tributary of the Orinoco which connects with the Amazon and by which we advanced to the borders of larger Para [Brazil]. There in the wilderness and ancient forests of the Cassiquiare, at 2º, we encountered rocks covered with hieroglyphs which indicated to us that this remote land now populated by naked Indians living scattered as cannibals, was at one remote period the home of civilized peoples. Upon returning from the Rio Negro to Cumana we proceeded to the island of Cuba, thence to the Rio Sissu, Carthagena, and Santa Fé [Bogotá], We traversed the kingdom of New Granada, Popayan, and Pasto. For a year we pursued our studies in the Andes of Quito carrying our instruments to a height of 3,036 toises on Chimborazo where we climbed 500 toises higher than any other human being before us. We proceeded to Loxa to study the chinchona trees in Jaen province and continued to the Amazon. At Lima we observed the transit of Mercury and by sailing from there via Guyaquil for Acapulco we managed to spend one year in New Spain which offered us a tremendous field of studies.
(de Terra, "Correspondence", pp. 787-788, originally in French).

Humboldt’s Scientific Representation of the Chimborazo Humboldt, Essai sur la géographie des plantes (1805–1807)

Humboldt’s Scientific Representation of the Chimborazo

Humboldt, Essai sur la géographie des plantes (1805–1807)

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