Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Neu-Wied, Alexander Maximilian, Prince of
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Neu-Wied, Alexander Maximilian, Prince of
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NEU-WIED, Alexander Maximilian (noy-veet), Prince of, b. in Neu-Wied, Germany, 23 Sept., 1782; d. there, 3 Feb., 1867. He served in the Prussian army until 1806, when he was retired as a major-general, and gave himself to the study of natural science. In 1815 he made a voyage to Rio Janeiro for the purpose of exploring the interior of Brazil. In 1816 he reached the Morro d'Arrara, and found the tribe of the Botocudos, about which he gave exact details for the first time. On account of the war among the different tribes of the country he was obliged to abandon his original route, and retired to Villaviçosa, remaining for some time near the ruins that he had discovered in Jonassoma. North of the river Belmonte he made his way through the woods, and after many difficulties arrived in the province of Minas-Geraes. His delicate health forced him to abandon his expedition, but on arriving at Nazareth he was detained by unfounded suspicions for three days, and robbed of a large part of his collection of insects and plants. After this he resolved to leave the country, and embarked for Germany on 10 May, 1817. In 1833 he travelled through the western part of North America to the Rocky mountains, collecting a large quantity of specimens in natural history, and having views taken by the artists that accompanied him. His zoölogical collection, embracing rare specimens of the South American fauna, is now in the American museum of natural history, New York. He wrote “Reise nach Brasilien in den Jahren 1815-1817” (Frankfort, 1819-'20); “Abbildungen zur Naturgeschichte Brasiliens” (Weimar, 1823); “Beiträge zur Naturgeschichte Brasiliens” (1824); and “Reise durch Nordamerika” (Coblentz, 1838; English translation, London, 1843).