Jean Louis Berlandier papers
Scope and Contents
The papers consist of diaries and accounts written or collected by Jean Louis Berlandier during his travels in Texas and Mexico. The papers include maps, letters, diaries, histories, and government documents containing geographical, ethnographic, and historical information about the Mexican Republic, particularly the region between the Sabine River and Sierra Madre, with extensive coverage of the areas that today comprise Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Coahuila, and Texas. Included in the collection are Juan Pedro Walker's diary of expeditions in 1815-1816 from Monterey into Texas, Jean Louis Berlandier's writings on Mexico, and letters from Manuel Gayasos de Lemos to William Dunbar concerning the Florida border. Other writers include Rafael Chovell, José Francisco Ruiz, and Manuel de Mier y Teran.
- 1745 - 1860
- Majority of material found within 1815 - 1850
Language of Materials
In Spanish, French, and English.
Conditions Governing Access
The materials are open for research.
Existence and Location of Copies
Portions available on microfilm.
Conditions Governing Use
The Jean Louis Berlandier Papers are the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Purchased from Henry R. Wagner, 1919; H. P. Kraus, Inc., 1986; and gift of William Reese (Yale 1977), 1993.
Organized into four series: I. Henry R. Wagner Berlandier Papers, 1745-1860. II. Materials Purchased from H. P. Kraus, Inc., 1826-1844. III. Material Donated by William S. Reese, circa 1850. IV. Miscellaneous Berlandier Manuscripts, 1827-1849. Series correspond to acquisitions.
Researchers should note that material within each acquisition may overlap with or relate to material found in other acquisitions. For instance, diaries from Berlandier's expeditions may be found in multiple acquisitions. In order to locate all relevant material within this collection, researchers will need to consult each acquisition described in the Collection Contents section.
Researchers should also note that similar material can be arranged differently in each acquisition, depending on how the material was organized when it was received and cataloged by the library.
8.76 Linear Feet (20 boxes)
The papers consist of diaries and accounts written or collected by Jean Louis Berlandier, including works by Rafael Chovell, Manuel de Mier y Teran, José Francisco Ruiz, Stephen F. Austin, Juan Pedro Walker and others. The papers include maps, letters, diaries, histories, and government documents containing geographical, ethnographic, and historical information about the Mexican Republic, particularly the region between the Sabine River and Sierra Madre, with extensive coverage of the areas that today comprise Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Cohuila, and Texas.
Jean Louis Berlandier
Jean Louis Berlandier (circa 1805-1851), French botanist, trained under Cuvier in Paris and Auguste Pyrame de Candolle in Geneva, who sent him to Mexico in 1826 to collect botanical specimens. In 1827, he joined the Mexican Comisión de Limites, an international boundary commission between the United States and Mexico. Berlandier conducted botanical, environmental, and social surveys of the border region for the Comisión. He later settled in Matamoros, where he worked as a doctor. During 1845-1846 he worked as a hospital administrator and, after the American invasion during the Mexican War, 1846-1858, acted as interpreter for the United States Army.
The bulk of the material in the papers was originally part of a larger collection purchased in 1853 by Darius Nash Couch in Matamoros, Mexico, later acquired by the English firm of Bernard Quaritch and the collector Sir Thomas Phillipps. Karl Hiersemann of Leipzig purchased most of the Berlandier papers at the Phillipps auctions in 1913 and 1919, Henry R. Wagner purchased them from him, and the library purchased the papers from Wagner in 1919.
Articles describing the collection and its history can be found in The Yale University Library Gazette 31(1957):130-32, 32(1958):71-76.
Collections are processed to a variety of levels, depending on the work necessary to make them usable, their perceived research value, the availability of staff, competing priorities, and whether or not further accruals are expected. The library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.
In 2015 this collection received a basic level of reorganization and some augmented description, including consolidation of former call numbers into a single call number: WA MSS S-300.
Information included in the Description of Papers note and Collection Contents section is drawn from legacy descriptive information created by Sir Thomas Phillipps, Henry R. Wagner, Thomas W. Streeter, and the Library. Some titles have been supplied by staff during processing. Catalog numbers created by Phillipps have been noted for the items, where possible. The Phillipps numbers were published in Phillipps' catalog of his collection and in auction catalogs; they are also present on the items for which they are noted.
This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for revisions in arrangement and description.
Former call numbers: WA MSS S-300-325, WA MSS S-328, Uncat WA MS 56, Uncat WA MS 178, and Uncat WA MS File Berlandier.
- Alamo (San Antonio, Tex.) -- Pictorial works
- Almonte, Juan Nepomuceno, 1803-1869
- Austin, Stephen F. (Stephen Fuller), 1793-1836
- Berlandier, Jean Louis, -1851
- Botanists -- France
- Botanists -- France -- 19th century
- Chovell, Rafael
- Diaries -- France -- 19th century
- Diaries -- Mexico -- 19th century
- Drawings (visual works) -- Mexico -- 19th century
- Dunbar, William, 1749-1810
- Florida -- Boundaries -- United States
- Galveston Bay (Tex.)
- García, Diego Martin
- Gayoso de Lemos, Manuel, 1747-1799
- Gutiérrez-Magee Expedition, 1812-1813
- Land grants -- Texas
- Maps (documents) -- Mexico -- 19th century
- Matamoros (Tamaulipas, Mexico) -- Statistics, Medical
- Meteorology -- Mexico
- Mexican War, 1846-1848 -- Campaigns
- Mexico -- Description and travel
- Mexico -- Gazetteers
- Mexico -- History -- 1810-
- Mexico -- History -- 1821-1861
- Mexico -- History -- To 1810
- Mexico -- Maps
- Mexico. Comisión de Límites
- Mier y Teran, Manuel de
- Músquiz, Ramón, approximately 1797-
- New Spain -- Maps
- Nuevo León (Mexico : State) -- Pictorial works
- Provincias Internas (New Spain)
- Public officers -- Mexico
- Public officers -- Mexico -- 19th century
- Ruíz, José Francisco, 1783-1840
- San Antonio (Tex.)
- Tamaulipas (Mexico) -- Pictorial works
- Texas -- Boundaries -- United States
- Texas -- Description and travel
- Texas -- History -- To 1846
- Texas -- Maps
- Texas -- Politics and government -- To 1846
- Toqui, Juan Bautista
- United States -- Boundaries -- Florida
- United States -- Boundaries -- Texas
- Villareal, José M.
- Wagner, Henry R. (Henry Raup), 1862-1957
- Walker, Juan Pedro
- Guide to the Jean Louis Berlandier Papers
- by Beinecke staff
- Description rules
- Beinecke Manuscript Unit Archival Processing Manual
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
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