Personal Narrative of Travels to the Equinoctial Regions of the New Continent During the Years 1799-1804, Volume 5, Part 1
Alexander von Humboldt's account of his monumental scientific expedition to South America and Cuba. Originally published in French between 1814 and 1825, this is the first edition in English ... This classic of scientific exploration was based on the researches of Humboldt and his companion, Aimé Bonpland, during their five-year excursion in South and Central America from 1799 to 1804. The volumes describe the voyage from Spain and the stop in the Canaries; Tobago and the first steps in South America; explorations along the Orinoco; Colombia and the area around Caracas; explorations in the northern Andes; and a visit to Cuba. "Humboldt and Bonpland traveled widely through South and Central America, studying meteorological phenomena and exploring wild and uninhabited country. At Callao, Humboldt measured the temperatures of the ocean current which came to bear his name ..."--Hill.
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Page 291 - This aspect of animated nature, in which man is nothing, lias something in it strange and sad. To this we reconcile ourselves with difficulty on the ocean, and amid the sands of Africa ; though in these scenes, where nothing recalls to mind our fields, our woods, and our streams, we are less astonished at the vast solitude through which we pass. Here, in a fertile country adorned with eternal verdure, we seek in vain the traces of the power of man ; we seem to be transported into a world different...
Page 235 - ... or slaves of the Christians. The prisoners were carried to San Fernando, in the hope that the mother would be unable to find her way back to her home by land. Far from those children who had accompanied their father on the day in which she had been carried off, this unhappy woman showed signs of the deepest despair.
Page 101 - This animal, almost invisible to the eye, gets under the toe-nails, and there acquires the size of a small pea, by the quick increase of its eggs, which are placed in a bag under the belly of the insect. The nigua therefore distinguishes what the most delicate chemical analysis could not distinguish, the cellular membrane and blood of a European from those of a Creole white.
Page 380 - Clusius, it can scarcely be conceived, why our writers on the mateiia medico, persist in considering a plant of the United States as the most ancient type of the officinal species of the genus smilax. We found in the possession of the Indians of the Rio Negro some of those green stones, known by the name of the Amazon stones, because the natives pretend, according to an ancient tradition, that they come from the country " of the women without husbands...
Page 101 - I have indicated in another part of this work the curious fact, that the whites born in the torrid zone walk barefoot with impunity, in the same apartment where a European recently landed is exposed to the attack of the niguas or chegoes (pulex penetrans).
Page 430 - ... among civilized nations in times of great scarcity ? In Egypt, in the thirteenth century, the habit of eating human flesh pervaded all classes of society ; extraordinary snares were spread for physicians in particular. They were called to attend persons, who pretended to be sick, but who were only hungry ; and it was not in order to be consulted, but devoured. An historian of great veracity, Abd-Allatif, has related, how a practice, which at first inspired dread and horror, soon occasioned not...
Page 180 - Every hemisphere produces plants of a different species ; and it is not by the diversity of climates that we can attempt to explain, why equinoctial Africa has no laurinese, and the New World no heaths ; why the calceolaria?
Page 273 - These good people," said the missionary, "like only processions in the open air. When I last celebrated the festival of San Antonio, the patron of my village, the Indians of Inirida were present at mass. ' Your God,' said they to me, ' keeps himself shut up in a house, as if he were old and infirm ; ours is in the forest, in the fields, and on the mountains of Sipapu, whence the rains come.