Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Haenke, Thaddeus

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search

HAENKE, Thaddeus, South American naturalist, b. in Kreibitz, Bohemia, 5 Oct., 1761; d. in Cochabamba, Peru, in 1817. He studied in the universities of Prague and Vienna, and devoted himself to botany, especially under the guidance of Jacquin, to whose “Collectanea” he contributed an account of the “Flora of the Austrian Alps.” In 1789 he entered the service of the Spanish government as botanist, in order to accompany Malaspina in his tour round the world. Having reached Spain too late, he embarked at Cadiz for Montevideo, and, after suffering shipwreck, finally joined Malaspina, in Chili, accompanying him in his voyage to the north, along the American coast as far as Nootka sound in Vancouver island. He returned by sea to the port of Acapulco and travelled through every part of Mexico. He then embarked again, and, after visiting several groups of islands in the South sea, landed at Concepcion, Chili, in 1794. He purchased land thirty miles from Cochabamba, Peru, and passed the rest of his life alternately in Cochabamba or on his estate, on which he opened and worked a silver-mine. He ascended the volcano of Arequipa, and published notes of his geological observations, founded a botanic garden at Cochabamba, and enriched it with exotic plants collected in his travels. He took poison by mistake in 1817, and died from its effects. He bequeathed his botanic collections to his native country, but only a part of them reached their destination. They were placed in the National museum of Prague. Haenke did not publish any narrative of his explorations, but left numerous notes on his collections and some manuscripts, which other botanists have utilized. The “Reliquiæ Haenkianæ” was published after his death (Prague, 1825). In the beginning of this work there is a life of the naturalist by Count von Sternberg. A copy of Haenke's “Introduccion ó la historia natural de Cochabamba,” printed in Lima and dated 15 Feb., 1799, fell into the hands of Azara, who published it in his “Travels in South America.” A memoir addressed by Haenke to the governor of the province of Cochabamba, and dated 20 April, 1799, entitled “Memoria sobre los rios navegables que fluyen al Marañon, procedentes de las Cordilleras del Perú,” was published by José Arenales (Buenos Ayres, 1833).