Manuscripts Division William L. Clements Library University of Michigan
Finding aid for Berlandier and Chovell, Observaciones Astronomicas and Meterologic Observations , 1832-1835
Finding aid created by Meg Hixon, October 2011
Title: Berlandier and Chovell, Observaciones Astronomicas and Meteorologic Observations Creator: Berlandier, Jean Louis, d. 1851 and Chovell, Rafael Inclusive dates: 1832-1835 Extent: 3 volumes Abstract:
This collection consists of three volumes containing astronomical and meteorological observations made in Goliad, Texas, and Matamoros, Mexico, from 1832-1835.
Language: The material is in Spanish Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave. The University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190 Phone: 734-764-2347 Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu
Access and Use
The collection is open for research.
Copyright status is unknown
Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.
Berlandier and Chovell, Observaciones Astronomicas and Meteorologic Observations , William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan
Volumes 1 and 2 (labeled "A" and "B," respectively) cover the period 1832-1834, and Volume 3 is a standalone volume.
Jean Louis Berlandier was born near Fort de l'Écluse, France, before 1805. While young, he moved to Geneva, Switzerland, and began to study botany under the tutelage of Augustin Pyrame de Candolle. In 1824, Berlandier left to collect specimens in Mexico, and in 1827 became a member of an officially sanctioned Boundary Commission charged with surveying flora and fauna along the Mexican side of the U.S.-Mexico border. Berlandier remained in America after the commission's dissolution, and settled in Matamoros, Mexico. Though he married and worked primarily as a physician, Berlandier made several additional botanical journeys throughout the region, including an expedition to Goliad, Texas, with Rafael Chovell in 1834. During the Mexican-American War, Berlandier was placed in charge of hospitals at Matamoros. Berlandier died in 1851.
Rafael Chovell, a mineralogist, also participated in the Boundary Commission sent to survey the flora and fauna of the Mexican side of the U.S.-Mexico border in 1827. In 1829, Chovell took charge of a garrison at Port Lavaca, as Mexico braced for conflict with Spain, but by the mid-1830s, he had moved to Goliad, Texas. In 1834, Chovell accompanied Jean Luis Berlandier on a several botanical expeditions throughout the region.
Collection Scope and Content Note
This collection consists of three volumes containing astronomical and meteorological observations made in Goliad, Texas, and Matamoros, Mexico, from 1832 to 1835.
The first two volumes, individually labeled "A" and "B," are titled Observaciones Astronomicas por Berlandier y Chovell. Jean Luis Berlandier and Rafael Chovell recorded astronomical observations made between 1832 and 1835. They entered data on a near-daily basis, with occasional gaps, and included positions of various astronomical bodies and points of interest. The observations, made with a chronometer and sextant, included latitude and longitude readings.
Entries in Volume A, recorded in Goliad, Texas, cover the following dates:
December 11, 1832-February 21, 1833
May 22, 1833-July 9, 1833
May 9, 1834-October 10, 1834
Entries in Volume B, recorded in Matamoros, Mexico, cover the following dates:
October 14, 1834-December 31, 1834
January 15, 1835-May 30, 1835
September 27, 1835-November 6, 1835
The third volume is titled Meteorologie Observations faites a Goliad i devant Bakia del Espiritu, Santo Texas. It is a record of meteorological observations made by the pair at Santo, Texas, between December 1, 1832, and December 31, 1833. Entries included information about wind direction and observations about the sky.
Matamoros (Tamaulipas, Mexico)
Berlandier, Jean Louis, d. 1851.
Container / Location
Berlandier and Chovell Observaciones Astronomicas and Meteorologic Observations [series]
Volume 1: Observaciones Astronomicas por Berlandier y Chovell, Goliad, Texas, December 11, 1832-October 10, 1834
Volume 2: Observaciones Astronomicas por Berlandier y Chovell, Santo, Texas, October 14, 1834-November 6, 1835
Volume 3: Meteorologic Observations faites a Goliad i devant Bakia del Espiritu, Santo, Texas, December 1, 1832-December 31, 1833
Additional Descriptive Data
Hartmann, Clinton P. Berlandier, Jean Louis. Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association, 2011.