1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Heuglin, Theodor von

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

HEUGLIN, THEODOR VON (1824–1876), German traveller in north-east Africa, was born on the 20th of March 1824 at Hirschlanden near Leonberg in Württemberg. His father was a Protestant pastor, and he was trained to be a mining engineer. He was ambitious, however, to become a scientific investigator of unknown regions, and with that object studied the natural sciences, especially zoology. In 1850 he went to Egypt where he learnt Arabic, afterwards visiting Arabia Petraea. In 1852 he accompanied Dr Reitz, Austrian consul at Khartum, on a journey to Abyssinia, and in the next year was appointed Dr Reitz’s successor in the consulate. While he held this post he travelled in Abyssinia and Kordofan, making a valuable collection of natural history specimens. In 1857 he journeyed through the coast lands of the African side of the Red Sea, and along the Somali coast. In 1860 he was chosen leader of an expedition to search for Eduard Vogel, his companions including Werner Munzinger, Gottlob Kinzelbach, and Dr Hermann Steudner. In June 1861 the party landed at Massawa, having instructions to go direct to Khartum and thence to Wadai, where Vogel was thought to be detained. Heuglin, accompanied by Dr Steudner, turned aside and made a wide detour through Abyssinia and the Galla country, and in consequence the leadership of the expedition was taken from him. He and Steudner reached Khartum in 1862 and there joined the party organized by Miss Tinné. With her or on their own account, they travelled up the White Nile to Gondokoro and explored a great part of the Bahr-el-Ghazal, where Steudner died of fever on the 10th of April 1863. Heuglin returned to Europe at the end of 1864. In 1870 and 1871 he made a valuable series of explorations in Spitsbergen and Novaya Zemlya; but 1875 found him again in north-east Africa, in the country of the Beni Amer and northern Abyssinia. He was preparing for an exploration of the island of Sokotra, when he died, at Stuttgart, on the 5th of November 1876. It is principally by his zoological, and more especially his ornithological, labours that Heuglin has taken rank as an independent authority.

His chief works are Systematische Übersicht der Vögel Nordost-Afrikas (1855); Reisen in Nordost-Afrika, 1852–1853 (Gotha, 1857); Syst. Übersicht der Säugetiere Nordost-Afrikas (Vienna, 1867); Reise nach Abessinien, den Gala-Ländern, &c., 1861–1862 (Jena, 1868); Reise in das Gebiet des Weissen Nil, &c. 1862–1864 (Leipzig, 1869); Reisen nach dem Nordpolarmeer, 1870–1871 (Brunswick, 1872–1874); Ornithologie von Nordost-Afrika (Cassel, 1869–1875); Reise in Nordost-Afrika (Brunswick, 1877, 2 vols.) A list of the more important of his numerous contributions to Petermann’s Mitteilungen will be found in that serial for 1877 at the close of the necrological notice.