Seminario del Nuevo Reyno de Granada

Francisco Jose de Caldas
1808

An extraordinary Enlightenment figure, Caldas was a disciple of the great Spanish botanist José Celestino Mutis and, according to the handwritten preface (in English) to this bound volume of his famous periodical, Mutis’s “favourite pupil.” The writer includes notice of Caldas’s assassination by royalist troops in 1816, and a litany of other murdered revolutionaries as well. The work itself is a paean to the love of science in Spanish America, ranging from geography to meteorology. The meteorological tables are a good example of the abiding interest in early environmental history in the Americas, and the possibility of understanding how the relationship between humans and the natural world formed in the later years of the colony of New Granada.

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