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MS Am 1282

Agassiz, Louis, 1807-1873. Louis Agassiz letters to Pedro II, Emperor of Brazil, 1863-1882: Guide.

Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University


Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Location: b
Call No.: MS Am 1282
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Agassiz, Louis, 1807-1873
Title: Louis Agassiz letters to Pedro II, Emperor of Brazil,
Date(s): 1863-1882.
Quantity: 1 collection (1 box (.5 linear ft.)
Language of materials: Collection materials are in French and English.
Abstract: Letters to Pedro II, Emperor of Brazil from Swiss natural scientist Louis Agassiz and others.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

52M-77. Gift of David James; received: 1952.

Conditions Governing Access:

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material. Collection is open for research.

Existence and Location of Copies:

The originals of these letters are in the Imperial Museum at Petrópolis, Province of Rio de Janerio, Brazil

Preferred Citation for Publication:

Louis Agassiz Letters to Pedro II, Emperor of Brazil, 1863-1882 (MS Am 1282). Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Biographical / Historical

Agassiz was born in Switzerland; taught at Neuchâtel from 1832 to 1845; and in 1846 moved to the United States to teach natural history at Harvard. Agassiz and his wife, Elizabeth Cabot Cary, spent 19 months in Brazil (1865-1866) to collect zoological specimens for the Harvard Museum. An account of this expedition is found in A Journey to Brazil (1868) written mainly by Elizabeth. Agassiz's collections formed the basis of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard.


Arranged alphabetically by author.

Scope and Contents

Consists of photostatic copies of 53 letters in French from Louis Agassiz to Pedro II, mainly concerning Agassiz's expedition to Brazil (to collect specimens for the Harvard Museum in Cambridge, Mass.). His letters are written from the U.S., Brazil and on board ship and give progress reports on his trips to the Amazon and other areas in Latin America. He also discusses American literary figures, such as Longfellow and Emerson, with Pedro II. A few other letters in the collection are from Alexander Agassiz, Elizabeth Cary Agassiz and John Greenleaf Whittier. .

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