Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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MONDESIR, Charles Stanislas (mong-day-zeer), French naturalist, born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1750; died in Aix, Provence, in 1817. He entered the church, was provided with an abbey in 1770 through the influence of the Duke de Choiseul, employed in several missions, and in 1781 sent to Cayenne, where he tried to naturalize the cochineal insect and the nopaltree on which it feeds. He went afterward to Peru to study the effects of the cholera, which had broken out in Callao, and with other scientists advised the tearing down of many buildings. He afterward made, at the instance of the Spanish authorities, an examination of the mines of Xepero and Barillo, discovered a sulphur-mine in the neighborhood of the latter place, and was still in Peru when the expedition round the world under command of Captain Malaspina arrived in Concepcion in 1790. He immediately joined the explorers, guided them through the Andes range, and accompanied Malaspina along the Californian coast to the Straits of Nootka. He then went to New Spain and lived there several months, occupied in forming an herbarium of the plants of the country. The revolution in France had meanwhile deprived him of the income from his abbey, and for several years after 1793 he assisted Louis Noe in preparing a "Flora Peruana." Returning to France in 1802, he recovered a part of his estate, and, settling in Aix, devoted the remainder of his life to the arrangement of the materials he had collected (luring his twenty years in America. Mondasir's works are few but, valuable. They are "Memoire sur la cochenille et le nopal, et de leur acclimatation a Saint Domingue et a la Guiane " (Paris, 1783) ; "Histoire et effets de l'epidemie de cholera asiatique a Callao dans le Perou, pendant l'ete de 1783 " (1785) ; " Histoire, description et proprietes des plantes medicinales du rovaume de la Nouvelle Espagne" (2 vols., Aix, 18"07) ; " Description des mines d'argent du Perou " (.1811) ; and " Memoire sur les mines de soufre du Perou, suivi d'une description de celle de Xepero, et d'une etude sur les procedds d'exploitation" (2 vols., Aix, 1813).
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