Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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ORBIGNY, Alcide de (or-been'-ye), French naturalist, born in Coueron, France, 9 September, 1802; died in Pierrefitte, near St. Denis, France, 30 June, 1857. At the age of twenty-three he published a paper on foraminifera in the "Annales des sciences naturelies," which resulted in his being intrusted with a scientific mission to South America by the Museum of natural history. After travelling across Brazil and Uruguay in 1826, he devoted fourteen months to the exploration of the Parana and its affluents, and was then employed by the Argentine government in exploring the pampas and reporting on the best means of utilizing them for agriculture. He then went to Patagonia, where he was obliged to fight in the ranks of a tribe that gave him hospitality. After exploring Bolivia and travelling through Peru, he returned to France in 1833 with a rich collection in zoology and botany, he received the grand prize of the Geographical society, and the academy named a commission to pass judgment on the results of his voyage. On their favorable report the government published the account of his journey. He wrote altogether fifty-five volumes, besides numerous papers that he presented to the Academy of sciences. His principal works, embracing the results of his explorations in America, are " Foraminiferes de l'Amerique meridionale" (Paris, 1839) ; "Foraminiferes de l'ile de Cuba et des Antilles" (1839) ; "Ornithologie de File de Cuba" (1839); and "Voyage dans l'Amerique meridridionale " (9 vols., 1834-'47). The part of this work that relates to the geography , d Bolivia was translated into Spanish under the title " Description geografica historica y estadistica de Bolivia" (Paris, 1846). He also issued numerous valuable geological charts.
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