Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Bonpland, Aimé
BONPLAND, Aimé (the pen-name of Gougaud, Amédée Jacques Alexandre), French traveller, b. in La Rochelle, France, 22 Aug., 1773; d. in Santa Anna, Uruguay, 11 May, 1858. He studied medicine in La Rochelle, was surgeon on a war vessel, afterward studied under Corvisart, and became intimate with Alexander von Humboldt, whom he accompanied in the explorations described by them in “Voyages aux régions équinoctiales du nouveau continent” (12 vols., Paris, 1815–'21). The collections made during his five years' travels in Mexico, Colombia, and the Orinoco and Amazon valleys were presented by him to the French government, which rewarded him with a pension, and appointed him superintendent of the gardens at Malmaison. He collected and classified about 6,000 plants, for the most part previously unknown, which he afterward described in “Plantes equinoxiales” (Paris, 1806–'10). After endeavoring to persuade Napoleon to retire to Mexico, he departed for Buenos Ayres in 1816, taking with him a number of European plants. In Buenos Ayres he was appointed professor of natural history, but this office he soon resigned in order to explore the central parts of South America. In Paraguay he was arrested as a spy in 1821 by order of Dr. Francia, and was a prisoner for ten years. On regaining his liberty he settled at San Borje, in Corrientes, where the government of the province presented him with an estate. His works include “Plantes équinoctiales recueillies au Mexique, à l'ile de Cuba, dans les provinces de Caracas, de Cumana, aux Andes de Quito, et sur les bords de l'Orénoque et des Amazones” (2 vols., Paris, 1805–'10), and “Monographie des mélastomées” (2 vols., Paris, 1806–'9).