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Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Gerstäcker, Friedrich

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GERSTÄCKER, Friedrich, German traveller, b. in Hamburg, Germany, 16 May, 1816; d. in Vienna, 81 May, 1872. He was apprenticed to a grocer in Cassel, but in 1837 engaged as cabin-boy on a vessel bound from Bremen to New York. In this country he was forced by poverty to become successively fireman on a steamboat, deck-hand, farmer, silversmith, wood-cutter, merchant, and hostler. After wandering through most of the states of the Union, spending some time as a hunter and trapper in the Indian territory, and keeping a hotel at Point Coupée, La., in 1842, he returned to Germany in 1843, and engaged in literary pursuits, but subsequently made trips to South America, Egypt, and around the world. Gerstäcker was a voluminous writer. Those of his works that relate to this country include “Streif- und Jagdzüge durch die Vereinigten Staaten Nordamerikas” (2 vols., Dresden, 1841); “Die Regulatoren in Arkansas,” a novel (3 vols., Leipsic, 1846); “Mississippibilder” (2 vols., Dresden, 1847); “Die Flusspiraten des Mississippi” (3 vols., Leipsic, 1848); “Amerikanische Wald- und Strombilder” (2 vols., 1849); “Reisen,” giving an account of his first journey round the world (5 vols., Stuttgart, 1852-'4); “Nach Amerika” (6 vols., Leipsic, 1855); “Unter dem Aequator” (3 vols., 1860); “Neue Reisen durch die Vereinigten Staaten, Mexico, Ecuador, Westindien und Venezuela” (2 vols., Jena, 1868); “Die Blauen und die Gelben,” a Venezuelan character-sketch (2 vols., 1870); and “In Mexico” (1871). Several of his books have been translated into English.