Popular Science Monthly/Volume 38/January 1891/Obituary Notes

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search


Sir Richard F. Burton, who died at Trieste, Austria, October 30th, was one of the most venturesome travelers and explorers and voluminous authors of modern times. He was born in Hertfordshire, England, in 1821. Having no taste for the university, he entered the East India and afterward the British diplomatic service, he visited the holy places of Arabia and won fame by the book he wrote about them; was the first European to visit Herat; discovered Lake Tanganyika; traveled to Salt Lake City and California; spent three or four years in western Africa; explored the Brazilian highlands and Paraguay; spent two vacations in "unexplored Syria"; visited Iceland; explored the land of Midian; and accompanied Cameron to the Gold Coast. His published works approach eighty volumes, of which thirty-nine are accounts of travel and exploration. Of these the Lake Region of Equatorial Africa is one of the best books on Africa. Burton also published grammars of three Oriental languages, five volumes of folk-lore, three books on fencing, and translations of the Portuguese poet Camoëns, and of the Arabian Nights.

Mr. John Hancock, an English ornithologist, died at his home in Newcastle-on-Tyne, October 11th, at the age of eighty-nine years.

The death is announced of Dr. Wenzel Leopold Gruber, Professor of Anatomy in the University of St. Petersburg. He was seventy-six years old.

Prof. Thorold Rogers, the eminent English economist, has recently died at Oxford. He was educated at King's College, London, and at Oxford, and began life as a clergyman of the Puseyite school. He afterward became a "coach" at Oxford, where he wrote a hand-book on Education and a pamphlet on the Law of Settlement. He was made Professor of Political Economy at Oxford in 1862, after which he devoted himself mainly to economical subjects, and entered Parliament in 1880. He published two volumes of Historical Sketches; Cobden and Modern Political Opinion; Agriculture and Prices in England (his most important work); Six Centuries of Work and Labor; The Economical Interpretation of History; and the History of Holland in the Story of the Nations series.

Mr. Robert Brough Smyth, of Victoria, Australia, who died in August last, had an important part in the scientific work of the colonies. He was from 1855 to 1858 Director of Meteorological Observations for the Colony of Victoria; was for some years member and Secretary of the Board of Science; honorary secretary and member of the Board for the Protection of Aborigines; Director of the Geological Survey of the Colony; and author of many works and papers on geology, ethnology, and philology.

Captain John Page, of the Argentine Navy, a summary of whose lecture on the Gran Chaco and its rivers has been published in the Monthly, died in June or July while making an attempt to explore the Pilcomayo River at about one hundred and fifty leagues from its mouth. The expedition reached the mouth of the river in the small steamer General Paz in April last, and Captain Page attempted the ascent thence in a vessel built especially for the service, drawing only eight inches of water; but even then the ascent was found impracticable, and the steamer could often be kept afloat only by damming up the stream.