The New International Encyclopædia/Forster, Georg

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FOR'STER, Georg (1754-94). A German traveler and naturalist, born near Danzig. When seventeen years old he accompanied his father, Johann Reinhold Forster, in Captain Cook's voyage around the world, and on his return collaborated with him in an account of it, written in English, and entitled Observations Upon a Voyage Around the World (2 vols., 1777). After some time spent in Paris, where he made the acquaintance of Franklin, he accepted a professorship of natural history at Cassel in 1779, and in 1784 was appointed to a similar position at Vilna. In 1787 he was called to Russia by Catharine II. to undertake a voyage of discovery, which was abandoned on the outbreak of the Turkish War. In the following year he accepted the office of librarian to the Elector of Mainz. After the taking of Mainz by the French in 1792, Forster, who had become an enthusiastic republican, went to Paris as the representative of the city, to secure its incorporation in the Republic. In the recapture of Mainz by the Prussians in the next year he lost his library and collections, and determined to remain in Paris, where he died in 1794, while preparing to make an extensive trip to East India. Besides numerous briefer works on scientific subjects, he wrote Kleine Schriften: ein Beitrag zur Länder und Völkerkunde, Naturgeschichte und Philosophie des Lebens (1879-97); and Ansichten vom Niederrhein, von Brabant, Flandern, Holland, England und Frankreich (1790-91). His letters were published by his wife, Therese, afterwards Therese Huber (2 vols., 1829), and his complete works edited by his daughter, with a characterization of the author by Gervinus (1843). For his Life, consult: König (Leipzig, 2d ed., 1858) and Leitzmann (Halle, 1893).