Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Schimmelin, Alexander Oliver

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SCHIMMELIN, Alexander Oliver, styled also Oeskmelin and Esquemeling, and generally known under the French form of Oexmelin, Dutch historian, b. in Flanders about 1645; d. in France in 1707. He studied medicine, but on 2 May, 1666, embarked as a contract laborer on a vessel belonging to the French company of the West Indies, and was sold for thirty crowns to M. de La Vie, agent of the company in Tortugas. After serving his master for three years, he was freed, and enlisted with the buccaneers, with whom he remained till 1674, when he returned to Europe on a Dutch vessel. Later he made three voyages to South America as surgeon on board Dutch and Spanish vessels. The narrative of his adventures, written originally not in Dutch, as it is claimed, but in French, fell into the hands of Baron de Frontignières, who published them with the title “Histoire des aventuriers flibustiers qui se sont signalés dans les Indes, contenant ce qu'ils ont fait de remarquable, leurs mœurs, leurs entreprises, avec la vie, les mœurs et les coutumes des habitants de Saint Domingue et de l'ile de la Tortue; une description exacte de ces lieux, ainsi que l'histoire de la chambre des comptes des Indes Occidentales” (2 vols., Paris, 1684). The first volume contains also a monograph on the flora, and fauna of South America. An enlarged edition (4 vols., Trevoux, 1775) contains the “Relation du voyage fait a la mer du Sud avec les flibustiers en 1685-'7,” by Raveneau de Lussan, and a “Histoire des pirates Anglais.” The Dutch edition, which is claimed by some to be the original, “Geschichte van de Vrebuyters van America” (Amsterdam, 1700), is asserted by others to be only a translation from the French.