By Angela Perez-Mejia, Dick Cluster
Unravels the wealthy complexities of the colonial shuttle adventure.
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Additional info for A Geography of Hard Times: Narratives About Travel to South America, 1780-1849 (Latin American and Iberian Thought and Culture)
In the letters, as part of his argument in pursuit of the money, Mutis places himself in the context of the international situation: If other Nations which possess establishments or Colonies in America have acquired from the outset a precise knowledge of all that the soil of these Possessions yields them—as may well be gathered, especially in this century, from their handsome, well-printed histories—this must be attributed not only to the good taste of that beautiful day which for them dawned so early, but also to the ease with which such expeditions could be mounted.
Humboldt’s study, in addition to what was contained in the maps just cited, included the classification of isothermic climate zones and the censuses of all the settlements he visited. These would have concrete repercussions in the formation of the new republics. Simón Bolívar, in his famous “Letter from Jamaica” dated September 6, 1815, analyzed the situation of all of South America by offering data from various local censuses, citing Humboldt as his source (Bolívar, vol. I: 159). Humboldt’s text is the first total vision of the territory through which the pro-independence and royalist armies marched and countermarched in their struggle for dominion over the colonies.
Mutis rests atop the marble pedestal where dead patriots are placed, MUTIS 19 enmeshed in a plant that grows not out of the earth but out of a book. To the left is an astrolabe, to the right his treatise on quinine, and carved into the marble is a Latin inscription: “Virtutem Factis, Naturam Scriptis Colere Docuit” (“He taught respect for the virtue of facts and the writings of nature”). 2 In the center is the Spanish traveler of the Enlightenment whom historiography raised onto a pedestal even before his death, converting him into a “precursor” of Nueva Granada’s independence.
A Geography of Hard Times: Narratives About Travel to South America, 1780-1849 (Latin American and Iberian Thought and Culture) by Angela Perez-Mejia, Dick Cluster