By Angela Perez-Mejia, Dick Cluster

ISBN-10: 0791460134

ISBN-13: 9780791460139

Unravels the wealthy complexities of the colonial shuttle adventure.

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Viaje a Santa Fe de José Celestino Mutis, 1991, 23) The letter was written from Cartagena during the first year of Mutis’s visit. His journal of that period also displays his disdain for the curative practices of the residents of Nueva Granada. 2 “Mutisia Clematis” Painted by Salvador Rizo. Original in Real Jardín Botánico de Madrid. Taken from Villegas, Mutis y la Real Expedición Botánica del Nuevo Reyno de Granada, 1992. MUTIS 29 At the moment (eleven months after having arrived) I am lacking many things that would contribute to alleviating the discomforts suffered by one away from home, but now in some manner I have adapted, until God pleases to return me from this exile and place me in my own country, surrounded by family and friends, whom I will entertain for a long while with my abundant harvest of tasty species.

The portrait is by Salvador Rizo, the outstanding painter among the personnel of the Royal Botanical Expedition of the New Kingdom of Granada of which Mutis was the promoter and the director. Rizo painted it in Santa Fe de Bogotá, in the expedition’s workshop where the innumerable collections of the plants of Nueva Granada were organized according to Linnaeus’s system. He depicted Mutis this way a few years before the botanist’s death. 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.

After the triumph of Independence all his physical works were sent to Spain by order of the crown, but it is in Colombia that he is remembered as a founding father. 7 Mutis departed for America in 1760 in the capacity of private physician to the viceroy Pedro Messía de la Cerda. Twenty-eight years would pass before his pleas for the crown to patronize his scientific dream would be heard. His Diario de observaciones begins in that same 1760, and in 1763 and 1764 he sent his first letters to the king of Spain requesting support for the undertaking of a natural history of the New Kingdom of Granada.

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A Geography of Hard Times: Narratives About Travel to South America, 1780-1849 by Angela Perez-Mejia, Dick Cluster


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